VHS Or Beta – Bring On The Comets
Record Label: Astralwerks
Release Date: August 28, 2007
I’ve found it takes a lot of energy to be hip. Too much energy if you ask me. I can’t hope to keep up with this week’s “Now” band (not to be confused with my favorite compilation series). I also can’t be expected to check which bands steal (ahem, borrow) sounds or hairstyles from past musical acts. I just don’t have the time. That’s a lie, but there was a Buffy marathon on last night! VHS Or Beta unfairly catch poo for blatantly “ripping off” The Cure and other 80’s glam-dance-electro outfits. We don’t get mad when Nike starts reselling classic kicks or when MLB teams wear jerseys from yesteryear. Why do we get so uproarious when a band takes a couple of (artfully skewed, neon) steps backward? I don’t care who did it before VHS Or Beta, Bring On The Comets is a cheeky hit.
As much as they’d probably like to be from England, VHS Or Beta hails from Louisville, Kentucky. Don’t expect to hear a hint of bourbon in their sound though, as Bring On The Comets would go well with whatever people drink while on Acid (Surge, perhaps?). The record opens with “Euglama,” a pulsing and unpolished club track. This short intro segues into “Love In My Pocket” and it’s melodic singing, tambourines and rock-steady guitars. VHS Or Beta are a tolerable group of one-song wonders. The differences between “Fall Down Lightly” and “Burn It All Down” may lie mostly in tempo, but Craig Pfunder’s deep bellow keeps your attention fixed on dancing and away from a nagging sense of déjà vu.
“We Could Be One” and “She Says” make good use of quick electronics and Mark Guidry’s snappy cymbal attacks. The title track, however, differentiates itself with a passive, ballad-esque feel. The song is less a club anthem than it is a raunchy lullaby. Following this same, sleepier format (on a decidedly grander scale), “The Stars Where We Came From” is a wondrous track. I don’t use the word “epic,” but if I did, this would be the track for it. An acoustic guitar and ghostly pedal steel guide Pfunder’s uncharacteristically mournful delivery through time, space and David Bowie’s walk-in closet. All told, Bring On The Comets is a bit more thoughtful than expected, and the resulting care works wonders.
I don’t eat hamburgers, so I’ve had just about every type of chicken sandwich imaginable. This gives me the rare ability to detect subtle differences in things that are mostly similar. Bring On The Comets lacks a unique sensation of any kind, but just like a good chicken club, I leave fulfilled. Frick, I knew this paragraph would make me hungry. My ignorant standpoint is surely flawed, but it’s no worse than this metaphor or VHS Or Beta’s smooth rehashing of all things dance.
Recommended If You Like: The Cure, Duran Duran, flying (as high as) kites, The Rapture, matching, Interpol, The Killers, etc., et al, ...
to be fair, there is alot of acid done in Ky, but, mostly we just smoke huge amounts of pot. Oh, and, the best thing to drink on acid is water man. you dont want to enter more chemicals into your body or it may change the type of trip you are having. not that I would know first hand or anything...also..good review..fucking douche bags of guys