VHS or Beta, above, “perform” at Bowery.
We trekked over early to Bowery Ballroom last night, interested in checking out the opener. No, seriously. We’d heard various rumblings about Walter Meego, a dance band who describe themselves as a cross between “Charles Bronson, Steve Mcqueen, and Chuck Norris, rolled up into one sweet, punishing bad-ass.” Badass indeed, the band played a few “sweet bangers” to warm up the crowd.
When VHS or Beta took the stage then, we were at once excited and disappointed. Their third album, Bring on the Comets (out this week), is arguably their best to dateï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½if not their most accessible. The new tracks challenge listeners not to break out their bestï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½and most likely embarassingï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½dance moves. It seemed, though, that the band had given up on performance, content to run through their material, oblivious to their audience. While the music was greatï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½actually, the best sound the Bowery has produced in monthsï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½the performance was not. In tighter-than-thou denim, the boys seemed cramped, stilted, and even a little bored. It made us long for the energy of the “Walker, Texas Ranger” tribute band, and that is never a good sign. Below, a review of their incredible new album.
VHS OR BETA Bring on the Comets (Astralwerks) Once youï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ve pulled rank on late ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½90s noise-rock and French disco-house, the logical evolution to an ambitious triad of studio outings would appear to be sweat-breaking, baby-making stadium mayhem. On their latest album, VHS or Beta (recently reduced from four members to a musical three-way) fist-pump into the hearts of eclectic listeners with radio-friendly dance anthems like ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½Love in My Pocketï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ and ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½Take It or Leave It.ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ The first single, ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½Canï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½t Believe a Single Word,ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ promises a long night of energetic aural sex. And, as an added perk, you wonï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½t be left clutching your pillow in the morning. ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½N.H.
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