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Beta Band
     

The Beta Band

3.5 2
by The Beta Band
 

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Just when it seems like rock music has become tame, hackneyed, and utterly predictable, along comes the Beta Band to shake up the very definition of the term. Composed of four barmy Scotsmen, the group splices, dices, and all but reinvents the genre; folk-rock melodies blend with tooting pennywhistles and clanging pots, classical snippets waltz with gurgling keyboards

Overview

Just when it seems like rock music has become tame, hackneyed, and utterly predictable, along comes the Beta Band to shake up the very definition of the term. Composed of four barmy Scotsmen, the group splices, dices, and all but reinvents the genre; folk-rock melodies blend with tooting pennywhistles and clanging pots, classical snippets waltz with gurgling keyboards, and hip-hop beats coalesce with sprawling space rock. Comparisons to Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, and Faust abound, but the Beta Band have really created their own monster. The opening cut, "The Beta Band Rap," best exemplifies the group's schizophrenic muse: The song opens with a whimsical vocal reminiscent of the '50s hit "Mr. Sandman," transmogrifies into an alterna-rap section that could be an outtake from Beck's ODELAY, then ultimately slides into a harmonica-enhanced, Elvis-influenced rockabilly rhythm. Sometimes the Beta Band get so caught up with being different that they overlook the need for melody. Or maybe they're just too stoned to shorten the experimental jams. Either way, they're a welcome alternative for those who embrace the bizarre.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Ankeny
Though dismissed by the group themselves as "f*cking awful" and "the worst record made this year," the Beta Band's self-titled album otherwise defies simple criticism -- seemingly infinite in its sonic complexities, it's an album of remarkable density and detail, a brashly schizophrenic freak-out which weaves its way throughout the history of rock & roll. Pop, blues, folk, psychedelia, hip-hop -- they're all here, sometimes even colliding within the same song; the disc somehow sounds almost completely different with each successive listen, consistently revealing new layers and possibilities. It all constantly runs the risk of collapsing into complete self-indulgence, but in its way the Beta Band's genius is their wanton disregard for niceties like verses, choruses, and melodies; rejecting musical theory in favor of the chaos theory, the album's neither a masterpiece nor a mess, but both.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/29/1999
Label:
Astralwerks
UPC:
0017046626828
catalogNumber:
6268

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The Beta Band 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this album is the way that modern pop should sound. a dizzying brainchild of many different music styles and drug cultures. this is the spaced out music of the millenium, making use of jazz, folk, hip-hop, rock, and even backwoods mountain bluegrass. a perfect album for tea heads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago