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Beta Band | From Heroes to Zeros | review | alternative | Lollipop

The Beta Band

From Heroes to Zeros (Astralwerks)
by Josh Kimmelman

I first heard Scotland's The Beta Band when I witnessed a quick, urgent set of theirs as openers for Radiohead a few summers back. The atmosphere that fine evening was of anticipation for the main act, and my anxiety meant that I wasn't too concerned with this sonic outfit's charmingly melodic set. But now I wish I had paid more attention. On the new disc, The Bata Band successfully amuse listeners by weaving intriguing ambient landscapes with soulful lyrics to create an easy listening space for indie aficionados and shoegazer cronies to curl up in and zone out. "Space" shines with a bouncy synth bass line that gels well with the staggered electronic zaps, in what could be the record's radio blue ribbon. Other tracks come salt and peppered with chimes, horns, and other assorted flavors with plenty of reverb to give the music a real "big band" appeal. Had I paid attention the first time around, I may've been able to pick up on a good thing. It's tough to be interested in the obscure opening act at any show, but apparently it's something I'll have to work on.


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