Sunday, September 02, 2007
VHS or Beta--Bring on the Comets (2007)
Artist-VHS or Beta
Album-Bring on the Comets
Release Date-Aug 28, 2007
Genre/Style-Indie Rock/Indie Electronic
Review-Reviewed by AMG. Instead of trying to create a futuristic Daft Punk dance-funk on Bring on the Comets, VHS or Beta borrow from the decadent '80s, taking notes on forming pop songs from their alt predecessors, Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears. The grooves that were once the cornerstone for their early work are much less noticeable here, as they've been draped with grandiose, sweeping choruses. Becoming more concise and memorable songwriters is a good thing, but now the result is too much like straight-up '80s pop sprinkled with dance-punk sensibilities. The songs are so polished and dipped in sheen that they beg for a raw moment where the smooth knob is turned to the left. Glistening keyboard arpeggios melt behind the Simon LeBon-like vocal crooning while kick thump and delayed guitar riffs are stacked upon track after track until all the tracks blend together in bland mediocrity. This isn't to say that the songs are monotonous. There are interesting chord changes prevalent, especially in moments like the chorus of "Can't Believe a Single Word" marinated in Rick Springfield guitar chunks or the surprising swing to the XTC hook of "Love in my Pocket," and it wouldn't be accurate to call Bring on the Comets predictable, but the stylish gloss of it all just sounds, well, samey. The songs aren't remarkable and they aren't bad, they're just there. Big catchy hooks are interesting at first, especially on "Fall Down Lightly," but the disc ultimately doesn't merit more than a couple listens before cooling off and becoming passé. The good news is that the band seems to be moving towards a bright white light, away from the Killers style dance-punk, evolving, and getting closer to finding their own style. They're not quite there yet, but they're definitely on the hunt, rummaging around for something better.
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