Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Deep and layered British Rock from The Beta Band

It was a long time before I liked John Cusack. It wasn’t until Grosse Point Blank in 1996 that I enjoyed any of his work. In 2000, he released the brilliant High Fidelity with Iben Hjejle and Jack Black. The soundtrack to that movie is brilliant, with obscure tracks from The Kinds, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Stereolab, The Velvet Underground, and more. It turns out John Cusack and his screenwriters hand picked the songs for the soundtrack and they are some music buffs. You should buy the disc; you’ll like it. 7 songs from the soundtrack made my iPod. Believe it or not, though, that soundtrack is not what I’m here to recommend today.

Thanks to John Cusack for turning me onto The Beta Band.

Thanks to John Cusack for turning me onto The Beta Band.

One of the bands on the High Fidelity soundtrack is one I had never heard of, The Beta Band. I loved their song on this album, Dry the Rain (Listen to the whole thing here; buy it here). It made me go out and buy their album Heroes to Zeroes. I liked it as much as I expected to and ripped 6 songs from the release to my iPod.

  • Assessment – This features spacey guitar and vocals with a driving beat. Listen to the whole thing & watch the weird but kind of cool video here.
  • Easy – Funky keyboards, strummed acoustic guitar, and a hummable melody make me think of Gomez when I hear this.
  • Troubles – Ethereal keyboards and delicate vocals make up this philosophical song. Watch the video and hear the whole thing.
  • Out-Side – This is a fantastic rocker with tribal drumming and a cool chorus. Watch the video, which is as good as the song.
  • Liquid Bird – Another complex rocker. You can hear it all here, but I don’t think the accompanying video is by The Beta Band. Also, ignore the first 10 seconds of audio, which is not Liquid Bird.
  • Simple – This is another deep song with a layered sound. “I tried to do my own thing, but the trouble with your own thing is you wind up on your own.“ What great songwriting. Hear it all here.

They guys themselves are Scots out of Edinburgh and got together in 1996. They only released 3 studio albums (and a few EPs earlier in their career) before their break-up in 2004, but they have gone on to other projects. Their site is still active but doesn’t appear to have been updated in the last 4 years. There is, however, a fansite where you can learn all about them, including what they’re up to now.


March 31, 2009 - Posted by | Alternative, Popular, Rock

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