Monday, December 3, 2007

VHS or Beta Review

Giggle. So my very first CD review came out today in our December issue of SEP. You can read it here. Just scroll down toward the bottom of the page. Or read below where I've copied and pasted. Looking back, I imagine I could've could have written it a little better...but whatever. Milestone!

VHS Or Beta —Bring On The Comets

Produced and mixed by Brandon Mason.

Recorded at Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville, NC

Engineered by Brandon Mason

Mixed at Blackbird Studios, Nashville, TN

Mastered by Fred Kevorkian at Avatar Studios in New York, NY

This Louisville, Ky., trio’s second full-length release swims neck-deep in more of the polished, hook-filled, retro punk/disco-inspired sound we’re used to from VHS or Beta. After the interlude-like intro, “Euglama,” “Love In My Pocket” begins with more guitar and distortion than the effect the album ultimately settles into and as the song progresses, it melts almost imperceptibly into the wider, poppier sound so characteristic of the band, and by the key change before the last verse, we‘re lost in bright, ‘80s glam gloriousness.

If the record has a downfall, it’s that the thumping backbone starts to become monotonous after a while. Though there are gaps between tracks, these don’t provide any sort of real mental hiatus. “Can’t Believe a Single Word,” the album’s catchiest song, seems to melt into “Burn It All Down” at the same tempo like a DJ switching songs, recalling the group’s house roots.

Still, several songs, especially the album’s piano-heavy title track, inspire an appropriately soaring, transcendent feeling. Emphasized by the unison notes following “You took my breath, took my sorrow,” Craig Pfunder’s voice echoes nostalgically before the song rockets into an overpowering bridge and chorus.

The irresistibly danceable nature of the album is compounded even more defiantly by mid-song key changes that drive the listener into the next track. The band utilizes a more guitar-centered, less electronic sound than many of its dance-driven counterparts, and the momentum keeps rolling forward during the first half of the album, finally slowing down after “Bring On The Comets.”

The album’s final cut, “The Stars Where We Came From,” recalls the rhythmic and melodic elements of the title track, becoming a sort of happy reprise. The bass drum only takes a short break during the middle bars of this song. It concludes satisfyingly like a night of dancing. Each song stands up as a carefully crafted piece of disco-punk artwork. (Astralwerks)

-Julia Reidy

1 comment:

crystal said...

fabulous darling!