I've never really been one for what they call art rock, but the Beta Band adds a new dimension to this term, perhaps even transcending it. The critics like to call this UK band a mix between Pink Floyd and Oasis, and I suppose I could agree. Still, that is only part of the story; listen closely and you will hear the influences of everything from hip-hop and funk to reggae and dub in this group's songs. And that is exactly their trademark--that their style is absolutely impossible to pin down, but so gosh darn good. Every single Beta Band song is full of experimentation and is a new journey down a different musical road. While this band has developed a cult following since the release of its first EP in 1997, they've nearly bankrupted themselves trying to get their music out to more listeners and extend their fan-base via constant touring. Their most recent release, Hot Shots II (July, '01), has received extensive airplay on American college radio, albeit surprisingly inconsistent reviews from critics, who ignorantly expected the Betas to stay the path of their past albums though this is exactly what they are known for avoiding. However the quantity of reviews the album has received is amazing for such a relatively unknown band, demonstrating the unprecedented interest in this band that exists in the underground music scene.
The Beta Band - Champion Versions (This is a different site from the one above!)
Astralwerks Official Homepage (Currently down due to terrorist attacks. Will hopefully be up soon.)
Please e-mail me if you have reviews, links, tour-dates or comments to add to the Beta Band page.
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