02 March 2004

the beta band, "assessment"

the new single by the beta band opens like a track that should've started u2's unforgettable fire album. eerily so, all that's missing is bellow (or bono, take your pick). so, yeah, apparently, several years late, the betas are getting into rock. it's a fantastically atmospheric thing and the tension mounts quickly. one hopes that this isn't it: given their track record, the idea of a simple three-minute rock song seems difficult to resign one's self to, especially after all the news about the band recording the album four or five times.

but, basically, that's what it is. and then at the three-minute mark, it becomes something different, but not like something else entirely, cf. "layla." what i mean to say is that, at 3:00, the glockenspiel makes an appearance, followed in no short order by the clanging double-octave 'e' piano key that detroit made famous and a full brass section. in short, it goes from zero to fierce in about thirty seconds. the whole record, but in particular the coda, represents ensemble playing at its finest. and yet what i keep wondering is, well ... when did the betas become a band?

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