The Beta Band: The Three EPs (EMI)

 |   |  <1 min read

The Beta Band: Dry the Rain
The Beta Band: The Three EPs (EMI)

This alarmingly good album released in late '98 -- made up from three impossible-to-find EPs by the Glaswegian quartet -- blurs the boundaries so much between pop and dub, art rock and folk that it goes well beyond convenient pigeonholing.

Just call it extraordinary. And an immediate, if late, contender in the "albums of the year" stakes, but one which hasn't had enough time to stand the longevity test.

That said, last weekend this generously timed 80-minute disc was on permanent repeat and visitors all said the same: "Wow, what's this?" I want commission on the 10 I sold on Sunday alone. (See the clip below!)

The opener, Dry the Rain, slips out over a delightfully lazy vocal and quasi-folk slide. I Know and B + A have the kind of leisurely groove that A Tribe Called Quest used to possess, and Dog's Got A Bone sounds like a harmonium ballad from some Appalachian shack.

Later there are loop tapes and surface noise, a sense that someone in the band grew up on their parents' pre-Dark Side Pink Floyd, bird calls-meets-Britpop, Ivor Cutler-meets-Beck ...

Slippery and seductive, attention-grabbing and ambient, pop and lo-fi prog.

Unfathomably sublime.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Carnivorous Plant Society: Carnivorous Plant Society (bandcamp)

Carnivorous Plant Society: Carnivorous Plant Society (bandcamp)

Drawing on everything from cool and classic Miles Davis, sci-fi, Mexican music, Spaghetti Westerns and ambient sounds, this large ensemble lead by Auckland horn and keyboard player Finn Scholes... > Read more

Rupa and the April Fishes: Este Mundo (Cumbancha)

Rupa and the April Fishes: Este Mundo (Cumbancha)

The implosion of Latin American party music, gypsy-swing, klezmer jazz and loping reggae is familiar enough in this country: from Kantuta, the Nairobi Trio and the Jews Brothers Band to the Mamaku... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Bebel Gilberto

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Bebel Gilberto

Given her parentage – her father the famous composer/singer/guitarist Jaoa Gilberto and her mother the singer Miucha – it would have been harder for Brazilian bossa nova star Bebel... > Read more

BACK TO BLACK (2014): 12 inch vinyl, a Sign o' The Times

BACK TO BLACK (2014): 12 inch vinyl, a Sign o' The Times

At last! Although seriously serious old Beatles' fans didn't have long to wait. Just fortysomething years after the band broke up . . . but a mere five years since their albums... > Read more