Friday, September 28, 2007

VHS or Beta - Bring on the Comets

Writing scathing reviews isn't as easy as it would seem since you really need to loath the topic/album in question. It's probably easy for some to hate VHS or Beta, but they're an entertaining dance-punk band that have been flying under the radar for a while but have surged onto radio with their newest album Bring on the Comets. Instead of staying with what they do best on this album they decided to focus on songwriting and squeaky-clean production. This album is kind of like jumping into a time machine back to the 80's pop charts with different guitar sounds. The sweeping choruses, synthesizer arpeggios, catchy hooks all just end up sounding tired on repeated listens. The album isn't bad and it isn't great. It's actually decidedly mediocre. It seems like there is too much polish on each of the songs that leave the listener begging to see if there's anything rough around the edges. It's hard to get into the album when each of the songs sound similar. You know the synth is coming in here or there, you know the sweeping chorus will be executed with precision, you know all of these things after listening to 2-3 songs. Maybe they're trying to be like Daft Punk or channeling The Killers and missing the mark. The single below "Can't Believe a Single Word" sounds like another song but can't figure out what. They need to find a true identity before anyone should say, "Hey put on that VHS or Beta disc."

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