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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Heroes to Zeros

The Beta Band

2004

Buy At Rough Trade
Heroes to Zeros
Album Summary

Heroes to Zeros is the third and final studio album by The Beta Band, released in 2004. It was produced by The Beta Band and mixed by Nigel Godrich. The cover illustration was created by comic book writer and artist Kaare Andrews. The Beta Band logo for the album was created by comic book artist Dave McCaig, later to be reused on The Best of the Beta Band. The song "Liquid Bird" features a sample of "Painted Bird" by Siouxsie and the Banshees. Mason later said, "We shouldn't have produced it ourselves, and if you think we did a bad job of producing it, we made an even worse job mixing it. We presented it to the label, and they immediately handed the whole thing over to Nigel Godrich to mix."

Wikipedia

Rating

2.92

Votes

9813

Genres

  • Rock
  • Electronica

Reviews

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View Author
Sun Jan 07 2024
2

Well this is it! #1089. I'm done with this whole shebang after I write this review. And let me tell you, this album is the perfect way to close off this 3 year trip. It is so emblematic of this list as a whole. Boring ☑ Forgettable ☑ British ☑ Bullshit ☑ It's been a real slice, y'all, and I am happy to have found hundreds of albums worth 5 stars. But the overwhelming majority of this list is dumb boring forgettable british bullshit.

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Sun Jan 07 2024
3

In the words of my good friend Jon - this was the perfect last album for us Generic ✔️ British ✔️ Bullshit ✔️

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Thu Jan 04 2024
4

I've been curious about the Beta Band for a while, after being introduced to them in High Fidelity. I liked this album a lot. It's very eclectic, with a good mix of sweet, slow songs and upbeat numbers. Scottish folks really know how to make great experimental pop music for some reason. It's great to see a rock band embrace electronic music tech and techniques, and everything is very well executed 4/5

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Wed Jan 03 2024
2

The Beta Band. Taking bang average 90s indie music into the 21at century!

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Fri Dec 29 2023
5

What a find! Consider me interested in being a member of their cult following. This album is a wonderful mix of folk rock and electronica. I definitely need to explore the rest of their catalogue when this is all over.

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Mon Feb 05 2024
1

There’s two fucking Beta Band albums on this list?

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Sun Jan 28 2024
5

This has been one of the biggest surprises so far. I’ve never heard of this band and I ended up listening to the album 3 times today. It’s a mix of different genres and it somehow works.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
3

This had a lot of neat ideas that I just don't think they had the ability to execute well enough. ALSO THIS IS THE LAST ONE BABYYYY I"M FREEEEEEE

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Mon Jan 08 2024
2

This album was not good. They are certainly zeroes. Highly questionable if they were ever heroes. It has that indie music feel, you know the whiny feel but this time with electronic music. Not really a two but I will round up

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Fri Apr 26 2024
2

I lost attention and couldn’t tell you anything because of how boring it was

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Wed Jan 03 2024
1

Very boring, very generic and nothing that hasn’t been done better by those that came before.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
4

Fine Beta Band album even though the vocals are so so. In my memory, Hot Shots II, its predecessor was a bit better and same goes for the material on the 3EPs. But still there is enough stuff to like, such as Wonderful, which sounds like the blueprint of a Beta Band song.

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Sat Dec 30 2023
4

A very interesting album of a band who called it quits too soon due to lack of success. They feel like the in-between stage from Blur to Alt-J

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Fri Jan 26 2024
4

I love this album cover. That was such an unexpectedly cool album from never hearing of these guys. I am very glad I listened to it with headphones on because there were a lot of different sounds going on with the electronics. Liquid Bird was my favorite song on here This album reminded me a lot of that Primal Scream album that came up over the summer. If I was also sitting on a beach and drinking some ice cold brews this would probably also get a 5, but instead I am sitting at my desk working on a cloudy day. Pretty solid 4

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Thu Feb 01 2024
4

I love the Beta Band, particularly 'The 3 EPs' and their second 'proper' album, 'Hot Shots II' and even their first album, which the band notably hated and disparage, has some absolutely brilliant tracks amidst the dross! 'Heroes to Zeroes', which was their swansong, is an enjoyable album with the standouts, for me, being the melancholy 'Troubles' and, especially, the beautiful 'Wonderful'. The remaining tracks are fine but perhaps, judging by the diminishing returns, it was right that they chose to call it a day.

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Sun May 19 2024
3

Liked it more than I was expecting, post Britpop sound with some decent songwriting

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Fri May 31 2024
3

A great album, I have to underline the superb production and ideas, though I didn’t really connect with the overall project…

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Sun Feb 25 2024
2

An absolutely Beta Band album. If you like the Beta Band's brand of laid back, psychedelic, folk, indie pop, you'll like this. No sign as to why it's considered essential listening, though. Rating: 2.5/5 Playlist track: Assessment Date listened: 24/02/24

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Wed Apr 24 2024
2

Didn't care for this one. I stopped paying attention.

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Fri Apr 19 2024
1

I am forgetting the songs while listening to them. I might remember this album just because of this. I wonder if it is hard to reach this level of blandness... Interesting to note that the only song with some kind of spirit samples a great one from Siouxie and the Banshees. It is a poor, tortured attempt, but it was the only time this album made me feel anything. Listening to this till the end was like waiting for water to boil.

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Thu Jan 18 2024
5

I have been a fan of The Beta Band since the early 2000s and I love any chance I get to revisit them.

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Wed Jun 19 2024
5

I remembered that I enjoyed The Beta Band "Hot Shots II" that came up a while ago in this project, but I couldn't really remember what to expect. This is a moody, quirky affair that was a perfect soundtrack for today. “Lion Thief” and “Simple” were particular faves, but I liked the whole album a lot. I seem to really like The Beta Band and should probably investigate them further.

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Wed Jun 19 2024
5

I remember liking the prior Beta Band album we had but I don't really remember why. HtZ doesn't jog my memory at all but I loved it. I think maybe I'm into the Beta Band and their whole deal.

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Mon Jan 01 2024
4

A pretty good record that I hadn’t heard before. Throwback near-psychedelic updated with a modern indie sound.

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Mon Jan 01 2024
4

The polytime of electronic dance combines perfectly with the rock energy of real instruments. This puts me in mind of an across-the-pond Broken Bells, though on the surface the songs carry less chill. Ends with the kind of uncertain note that suitably ends an album or band.

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Thu Jan 04 2024
4

Toffe mix van folk en psychische muziek

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Thu Jan 04 2024
4

J’ai jamais entendu parlé de ce band là, mais chaque chansons me fait penser à un autre groupe que j’arrive pas à trouver le nom. En tout cas, léger 4 pour l’ensemble

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Thu Jan 04 2024
4

Cool - only knew a few songs but this was great. Saved Space Beatle.

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Fri Jan 05 2024
4

I admit I like this, but do we really need 2 if this band's 3 albums on this list?? Seems like an overrepresentation. Even so, it is hard to stay mad because the songs are so good. The melodies are catchy, the sound dreamy.

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Fri Jan 05 2024
4

First of all, have to say how much I love the album cover. Such great artwork! Now, the album is excellent. Second Beta Band album for me this week, which is great. I am drawn to their style, which is a clever mash-up of elements from various genres, and they compose and perform very well. I'll give this album more listens and, yes, for real, will finally listen to more of their stuff.

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Sat Jan 06 2024
4

So I really liked this. I only know the Beta Band from The 3 EPs, obviously from High Fidelity. This one doesn’t really sound like that record though. I know Beta Band is an act many hipsters hold in high esteem, and apparently Radiohead and Oasis (at least Noel) said they wanted to make an album like Beta Band. This sounds so much like Soundtrack of Our Lives though. And I find out this came out years after they were active and arguably at their commercial peak in 2002.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
4

A fine album to end on. What a fun 2000s romp to end my generator journey!

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Thu Jan 18 2024
4

I was prepared for some weird U2/Coldplay meets jam band album based off the opening track, but then a random horn section appeared and I didn't know what to expect. I didn't hate it, though. I ended up being pleasantly surprised by this album. There's a ton of variety and experimentation, and it never gets boring. It's got a crazy mix of garage rock, folk, shoegaze, trip hop, and electronica all mixed up together. Some of the tracks reminded me of Peter Gabriel or Cosmo Sheldrake in the weird melding of genres and bizarre soundscapes (in a good way). I often found myself wondering if they were sampling songs in several of the melodies—was that Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" or just a close imitation of the clav? ... was that the riff from "Paint it Black" I just heard?—or just heavily inspired by older work. "Liquid Bird" definitely samples Siouxsie and the Banshees, and it is fire. The lyrics are at times trippy to the point of being nonsensical and at other times a bit cliche (there seem to be quite a few overt references to The Beatles as well). The words can seem like an afterthought on some songs compared to the music; but the music is so engaging that it doesn't matter that much. I enjoyed this album a lot. I'll probably add it to my regular rotation and check out their other stuff. 4/5

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Sun Jan 21 2024
4

I used to enjoy the three EPs album when I was younger but never ventured any further. How foolish. This was great. The bits that went great I suspect might be growers. Definitely adding this one to my rotation list.

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Thu Jan 25 2024
4

Great find. Great listen. Folk rock electronica.

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Fri Jan 26 2024
4

Wow what a god anwful album cover. Hellen Keller could make a better cover than this. But ooo another Nigel produced album excited for that. Really loving the atmospheric sound to this album. Hard to nail down a specific genre which I love. Currently floating to Wonderful. That switch up in Space Beatle is pretty toight. Simple reminds me a ton of Elbow in a good way. This is a pretty solid 4 from me. Want to deduct for the cover but 4 it is.

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Fri Jan 26 2024
4

One of the cooler album covers so far. This album had a ton of variety that I appreciated. Very unique sound without being overboard on randomness. Pure For was a great end, especially with those bass kicks.

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Wed Jan 31 2024
4

Never heard of this band!! Cool blend of Rock, Electronica and a dash of folk. They remind me a bit of My Morning Jacket with some Radiohead influences. Definitely gonna check out their other releases! Standout tracks: Assessment, Lion Thief, Wonderful, Out-side, Liquid Bird, Simple, Pure For 8 out of 10

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Wed Feb 07 2024
4

Weird and quirky in a way that’s more often charming and enjoyable than off-putting and annoying. Always happy to find an album on this list that feels like a unique experience.

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Wed Feb 07 2024
4

Very interesting music, full of new, catchy beats.

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Fri Feb 09 2024
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Assessment, Space

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Mon Feb 12 2024
4

They kinda sounds like Ween, these guys should be more popular

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Mon Feb 12 2024
4

Comedown folk-rock. I like the way they did their own distinctive thing when there was so much bad music in this era.

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Mon Feb 12 2024
4

I have a love hate relationship with the Beta Band. I go through periods where I think they are great and then periods where I find I just can’t listen to them. I was in the latter mood when this came up. Listening to this has nave me to the former.

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Thu Feb 15 2024
4

It's good, but it's probably my least favorite collection of Beta Band songs.

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Mon Feb 19 2024
4

interesting album. Didn't like it as much as the other one on the list, but still good.

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Tue Feb 20 2024
4

they're good, remembering "High fidelity"

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Fri Feb 23 2024
4

Las y los ingleses tienen en música otras visiones. No sé si definirlo como mayor sensibilidad, apertura, creatividad más rica, pero la cantidad de proyectos musicales interesantes de Inglaterra es innumerable. Esta banda, que también es nueva para mí, tiene experimentación, tiene psicodelia, remite a The Stone Roses y recuerda a lo que después empezó a hacer Tame Impala. Me gustó

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Fri Feb 23 2024
4

Never heard of this band before. A relatively chill rock album. Enjoyed it while listening. But not an all time favorite nor am I now a fan after listening to it. Solid 4 out of 5.

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Sun Feb 25 2024
4

Interessante Sounds im Stile von OMD, Siouxsie & The Bangees und Visage. Es teilweise wild und rockig unterlegt und macht die innere Zerrissenheit der Band im Jahr 2004 kurz vor ihrer Auflösung deutlich. Sehr interessant sind “Liquid Bird”, “Pure For” und Troubles”. Die Platte ist zur Wiederholung geeignet.

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Mon Feb 26 2024
4

These guys are just so groovy and chill. Great study/work music. Not workout music but still great.

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Fri Mar 01 2024
4

Not heard of the band prior to this dropping. Well what a fun mix. Nothing truly original but some sparkling songs across many rock genres. Definitely one for the road.

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Thu Mar 07 2024
4

This needs to a 10 point scale. It’s a 7 (3.5). Never heard of these guys. They do some cool stuff.

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Fri Mar 08 2024
4

I am really pleasantly surprised by this, it was exactly what I was hoping to get out of doing this. A great album that I missed the first time around. I will be going back to this for sure.

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Tue Mar 12 2024
4

This was a cool new find. never heard them before but I dug this LP

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Thu Mar 14 2024
4

Considering I hadn’t heard of The Beta Band before starting this project, it’s surprising how many of their albums are considered essential. I thought that Hot Shots II was ok but it didn’t blow me away. Let’s discover this one then! Songs I already knew: none Favourites: Liquid Bird I think it would be fair to say I enjoyed this album a fair bit more than the previous one. I still wouldn’t say that it knocked my socks off, but the music was interesting enough to keep me interested and catchy enough to keep me bopping away. It’s nothing amazing, but certainly something I can enjoy when I come across it.

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Thu Mar 14 2024
4

A little gimmicky but good tunes

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Thu Mar 21 2024
4

Beta Band is always a good listen. Three EPs is still my favorite, but this one is pretty good too.

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Thu Mar 28 2024
4

I get it. I think. I like the techno merged with new wave, sprinkled with funk and atmospheric roots music. I can imagine this would be a great band to see live while tripping balls. Hard to argue with poignant lyrics like: Dysmorphic in doses Imagine trying to shit out twelve red roses

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Sat Mar 30 2024
4

I loved the Beta Band back in the day, this stands up much better than it's contemporaries in the UK.

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Wed Apr 17 2024
4

This was much more my cup of tea than expected. Not a complete banger but generally deserves 4/5

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Wed Apr 17 2024
4

I didn't know this band at all and I actually really enjoyed this listen. Their sound was not at all what I was expecting when I heard the band name and saw this album cover. I probably would have never given this a chance left to my own devices, but it had some cool tracks that I'll add to my rotation.

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Wed Apr 17 2024
4

Way better than their previous efforts, turns out the upbeat, up tempo Beta Band have far more to offer than the lo fi, dour tunes that came before.

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Thu Apr 18 2024
4

I kind of really dug this album. It was sooooo different from anything, but still really cool (70's acid trip, modern electronic, high school band). I can see why the commercial success is low and personally I don't think they would do good playing big venues and having big fan bases. I want to see them play in a garage or a small club because their music has an intimate presence and the ability to be different but not pretentious and so unique but digestible. I really liked the first four songs. Easy and Wonderful were only okay, but they picked up again after and finished great (really liked Out-Side and Pure For). I am so glad I found them too and I will search them out more.

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Wed Apr 24 2024
4

I had never heard of The Beta Band before but I really enjoyed this album. I wouldn't say that any of the songs particularly stood out to me, but I did enjoy the vibe of the album!

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Wed Apr 24 2024
4

I remembered someone suggesting the Beta Band to me, but it turns out it was the movie High Fidelity. This is a really good album--I went back and listened to some of their other stuff and it was not as good. Too bad this was their last album!

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Wed Apr 24 2024
4

Not sure why this is on the list, but I enjoy the album

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Thu Apr 25 2024
4

“Folktronica” is definitely the best way to describe this band. Fun listen.

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Fri Apr 26 2024
4

Honestly I was expecting to hate this album with every fiber of my being. I did not. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Maybe it was because I was listening to this after studying for o chem all day and the vibe was just what I was looking for. Maybe it was because it was super low-key and they didn't seem to take themselves stupidly seriously. Whatever the reason I really liked this one. What an unexpected, pleasant surprise.

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Fri Apr 26 2024
4

I liked the sound of this band. They had a almost late Beatles sound with an alternative edge.

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Thu May 02 2024
4

An interesting band that rises above the typical middle of the road jangly guitar pop.

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Fri May 03 2024
4

Without the shock of the new of the 3 EPs, still a great offbeat listen. Steve Mason is a genuine one off and needs to be cherished.

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Sun May 05 2024
4

I surprisingly liked this early 2000s rock/indie album by this Scottish band I haven't heard about before. This album is atmospheric, moody, interesting enough and overall it was a pleasant listen. Maybe it'd be a 3.5 but I round it up to 4.

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Tue May 07 2024
4

I like the Beta Band enough. Not as good as The Three EPs, but enjoyable.

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Thu May 09 2024
4

This album reminded me of another band I like, "Django Django". The vocals are distinct, and the subtly electronic melodies are soothing and ethereal.

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Thu May 09 2024
4

Reicht knapp für 4. Gefällt nebenbei ganz gut und der Sound stimmt.

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Sat May 11 2024
4

Enjoyable, if not ground breaking

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Sun May 12 2024
4

Great discovery. I really enjoyed some of the pieces of this experimental rock with a very British slant. I especially liked space beatle (just like yesterday and also wonderful

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Wed May 22 2024
4

I quite liked this, good background rock music. Stand-out: Troubles

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Fri May 24 2024
4

An interesting eclectic album I’d like to hear more of - enjoyed its particular brand of noughties alternative

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Tue May 28 2024
4

Some good stuff here, but it takes a few song to get it. Hardly their best album.

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Fri May 31 2024
4

At their peak, the Beta Band were one of Britain's most innovative, creative and promising bands. Sadly that peak came and passed far too quickly. The aptly-named Heroes to Zeros soundtracks the period from their excellent Hot Shots II era to their breakup just months after this was released. It's a damn shame but they just didn't seem to be able to agree on the creative direction, some members struggled with mental health and they and collectively kept hitting the self-destruct button. Lots of this album are of the playful, genre-bending variety that made them so exciting, but it lacks consistency and sags in the second half. I can't go lower than a 4 because they were just so special while we had them around (and outstanding live) but it's much messier than its predecessor and not as much fun as the 3 EPs that put the Betas on the map in the first place.

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Fri Jun 07 2024
4

The Beta Band (grupo de culto salvo cuando salieron en High Fidelity, incluso por ello) siguieron, en su tercer y último disco, la estela de The Flaming Lips, la portada remite a Yoshimi o The Mystics... y de Elephant Six. En realidad The Beta Band han sido siempre un mundo en sí mismos. El disco es un viaje por los rincones de la psicodelia, una delicia con canciones como Troubles, Wonderful y esa gema que es Out-Side. Abre potente con Assessment y continúa con Space, en clave Animal Collective (Panda Pear). Lion Thief ensambla unas guitarras y coros Byrdianos (los de Notorious Byrd Brothers) con percusiones y ritmos mucho más actuales además de un toque Pink Floyd, que hacen del conjunto un temazo. Easy fusiona su estilo con algo de Funk. Space Beatle es una marcianada, como Rhododendron, una delicada pieza instrumental. Liquid Bird podría haber sido un éxito, de haberlo querido alguien. Cuando llegas a Simple y Pure For (que recuerda a la psicodelia noventera de Screamadelica - Inner flight/Higher than the sun) ya estás entregado y esperando a darle otra vez al play. Joya exquisita y atemporal. Hubo muchos, pero no mucho mejores discos en 2004: Nick Cave- Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus, Arcade Fire- Funeral, Wilco – A Ghost Is Born, Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand, Tom Waits – Real gone, Morrissey - You are the quarry. También: Sonic Youth- Sonic Nurse, TV on the radio- Desperate, Youth, Blood, Green Day - American Idiot, Bart Davenport – Game Preserve, Interpol – Antics, Modest Mouse – Good news for people who love bad news, Brian Wilson – Smile, Lambchop – Aw c’mon / No you c’mon, The Dears – No cities left, The Divine Comedy – Absent friends, The Delgados – Universal audio, Kasabian-Kasabian, The Organ - The Organ, Adan Green - Friends of mine, Ye (Kanye West)- The College dropout, Keane- Hopes and feras, Pinback-Summer in Abaddon...

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Mon Jun 17 2024
4

The album cover alone is worth 5 stars, however the songs don't quite live up to that level. Still, a really enjoyable album and an improvement over their previous one.

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Wed Jun 19 2024
4

Yeah, this one was pretty good. I didn't love it to the end...got a bit bored after a while, but pretty strong, in general.

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Wed Jun 19 2024
4

I loved this. A great discovery. Am baffled that I hadn’t heard it before. Now going through the back catalogue.

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