Beta Band Heroes To Zeros

The Beta Band could possibly be the most inconsistent band of all time. The Three EPs was one of the most fascinating listens of the late ’90s, and blew everyone’s minds. Fans of the record found their mouths watering for more, so it was exciting when their debut album proper appeared rather quickly. Yet, "bomb” is a generous term to describe the result of that album. Taking time off, they fixed things a little with Hot Shots II, a much lucid album, but the overwhelming strokes of electronics made took them into a direction that wasn’t comforting. Heroes To Zeros comes at a time when the Beta Band are considered dark horses. They no longer incite the same level of anticipation they once did, so this is their chance to win back the adoration without all of the publicity. It’s very possible that this record can do that as well. Self-produced and mixed by Nigel Godrich (Beck, Radiohead), Heroes is the clearest example of what the Beta Band is about. Lead single, "Assessment” is simply one riff on repeat that surprisingly, is a very straightforward slice of rock’n’roll, complete with horns and a massively grand ending. "Liquid Bird” features a metal riff that brings to mind Utah Saints’ only hit and gives an idea of what their debut could have sounded like. Even "Wonderful,” with its stomach-turning, off-key vocals manages to come out on top with a placid, casual body of work. Heroes To Zeros’ innovation and experimentation passes with flying colours and the Beta Band’s status as cult heroes is in check, for now. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a winning streak, because the world seems a worse place when these guys perform like zeros. (Regal)