VHS or Beta – Night On Fire

VHS or BetaI often feel sorry for the bands that get caught up in a scene. When record labels started signing up blues/garage rock bands in the wake of the White Stripes and the Strokes, I felt that they were doomed to be written of as copyists, riding the coat tails of more successful bands. As such as lot of the new new-wave bands over the last couple of years have been written off as mere Franz Ferdinand and Killers rip offs. That’s true for some of them and frankly some of these bands just are plain no good, but there’s a couple that are worth listening to. VHS or Beta (80’s name right there) are a band from Kentucky who play a similar brand of danceable guitar music to Franz Ferdinand, but their sound is a lot more polished and actually owes more to dance music than 80’s post punk influences.

The album starts off fairly patchy, “Night On Fire” and “You Got Me” both sound good, but pretty samey. “Dynamize” is my favourite track by far; it’s got an amazingly distorted guitar sound and brilliant processed drums. Considering it’s an instrumental as well, it’s surprising that this has the most energy to it. The other big instrumental “Irreversible” meanders a bit too much and isn’t as upbeat as any of the previous tracks. “Alive” and “Forever” are two more great tracks that somehow manage to sound like a rock group playing Daft Punks songs.

If anything VHS or Beta are the guitar band that can claim to make dance music; everything from the sound of the drums to the extended songs (perfect for mixing). The only problem I think with the album is the order of the tracks, most of the weaker ones come at the start. If there was a bit or re-arranging and if maybe “Melting Moon” was at the start, the the flow of the tracks I think’d be better. But I suppose that’s what the shuffle function’s for.

VHS or Beta – Night On Fire:


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