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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

8730
Genres
Rock
Electronica

Reviews

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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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Wed Jan 03 2024
2

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

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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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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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Mon Feb 05 2024
1

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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

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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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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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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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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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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Tue Dec 26 2023
3

Neither repulsive nor very attractive.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
3

I mean, it's about what you'd expect from a Beta Band release. It's good but not great. There's a lot of interesting things happening but also a lot of questionable things. I almost gave this a really soft 4-star review but it's... just not quite there. So close, though. Strong 3.

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Fri Dec 29 2023
3

I think I ran into Beta Band years ago as they show up on at least one Air song. It's a weird and interesting band that I overall like but don't love. This album is no different with its tight little chug along grooves. Totally adequate.

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Sat Dec 30 2023
3

En plein ce que je pensais. Genre de band qui expérimenté. C'est bon des fois, des fois moins. 3.35

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Sun Dec 31 2023
3

An interesting blend of folk and electronic with a few other influences thrown in, like rock and funk. Despite the mix of styles, the album is fairly consistent. The singer’s voice is too low-key for some of the songs but okay in others. The album cover is very 70s.

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Mon Jan 01 2024
3

I sort of feel the editors needed to include a Beta Band album since they were so influential to other British acts at the time. But they could have put the 3 EPs on the list and I would've been a lot happier (but maybe that didn't rank as an "album" since it's a compilation?) This one is fine, but I'll listen to the 3 EPs if I want to listen to The Beta Band.

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Mon Jan 01 2024
3

I only knew 3eps going into this. This wasn't bad but i'd listen to 3eps before putting this on again.

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Mon Jan 01 2024
3

It's fine. I didn't hear anything that groundbreaking especially for 2004, seem more polished and generic than earlier stuff.

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Wed Jan 03 2024
3

Had another album by this band I'd never heard of before just a few days ago. Similar issues: I like it, they've got some interesting sounds going on, but it's lacking something. Not getting much from the lyrics and the overall composition is kind of missing a central point of view.

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Wed Jan 03 2024
3

Uhh yeah okay? Middle of the road shit.

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Thu Jan 04 2024
3

Never heard of this band before, but enjoyed this album. Felt familiar.

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Fri Jan 05 2024
3

Interesting this was mixed by Nigel Godrich. I'm not a huge fan of the superhero shtick they've been doing and the band feels quite average in terms of it's sound to me. Just another 2010s ground that is just kinda... there.

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Sat Jan 06 2024
3

This is a really well-crafted album with a variety of musical ideas to explore. The band has a strong pop sensibility, augmented with a gift for thinking outside the box musically. I enjoyed this quite a bit. Fave Songs: Space Beatle, Rhododendron, Out-Side, Space, Liquid Bird, Pure For

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Sun Jan 07 2024
3

Banda maldita de començaments de mil.leni. No va tenir mai ni una engruna d'èxit, però dos dels seus tres discos (EPs apart) estan en aquesta llista; dona una idea de la típica banda més per crítics que pel públic. Em va agradar més el seu segon LP 'Hot Shots II'. Aquí continuen amb la seva peculiar barreja d'indie pop amb psicodèlia, indietronica i rock alternatiu, però les idees sembla que ja no sortien tan fresques com en els seus treballs anteriors

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Sun Jan 07 2024
3

I like the sound of it. I never listened to them before, great to know them know.

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Mon Jan 08 2024
3

After the first couple songs I thought this was going to be a pretty interesting alternative album but it got a little annoying at times. Can definitely see how this would have influenced Alt-J. 6/10

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Mon Jan 08 2024
3

5/10. Didn't give this a very thorough listen, but what I heard I didn't love

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Mon Jan 08 2024
3

Sans intérêt particulier, on est toujorus bien dans le générateur

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Mon Jan 08 2024
3

C'était assez agréable à écouter, ce qui est déjà un exploit en soi dans cet horrible générateur.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
3

The Beta Band is one of those bands that were slated for success based on endorsements from their contemporaries. Having opened for both Radiohead and Oasis, perhaps they could have been the UK's next big band. Alas, the best they could do was chart at number 13 on the UK albums chart. They disbanded shortly after this album. How is Heroes to Zeros? Pretty good actually. This is a record record with some forward-thinking ideas. A little bit of psych, a little bit of electronica, a lot of potential. I don't think much stuck with me except for the song Out-Side.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
3

Kinda reminded me of the Beatles but didn't really grab me, low 3.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
3

Its a good time killer, there's some genuinely solid tunes but nothing that really stands out. If you want some background noise you could put it on.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
3

These guys opened for Radiohead during their Amnesiac tour, and you can hear why. With lush production, blending styles of post-Britpop, psychedelia, and electronica, it sounds like a cleaner and more down-to-earth Primal Scream. There's a lot of creativity and diverse styles at play here that make it a fun and engaging listen. Some songs are duds, and sometimes it sounds like they're trying a bit too hard with sensory stimuli. It tends to lack proper hooks and moments to leave memorable impressions, especially on the singles. Also, the conflicting styles do clash, leaving the record to be a bit inconsistent. The worst flow is near the end, with "Rhododendron", "Liquid Bird", and "Simple" sounding harsh back to back. This is a weird pick considering the influences are clear, and this had very little lasting impression on other artists, but they are liked by a few like Radiohead. But it is solid production work with plenty of creative ideas that tend to work well.

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Fri Jan 12 2024
3

So... I love Four Women, and Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair. The others... you just have to be in your mood for.

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Mon Jan 15 2024
3

Ik vind dit prima aan te horen, maar veel van hetzelfde.

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Mon Jan 15 2024
3

Kende ik helemaal niet, maar best tof!

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Wed Jan 17 2024
3

Something that sounds good, but too experimental for me to love this

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Thu Jan 18 2024
3

Solid stuff, and good background music while working.

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Thu Jan 18 2024
3

Experimental indie pop/rock that grows on you. I recognised two singles. Not bad, quite quirky and interesting.

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Wed Jan 24 2024
3

Unique sound, like mellow acid rock. Need to listen again.

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Fri Jan 26 2024
3

Initial impression is this reminds me of U2. And I really don't like U2. Space is a fine enough song. Could be great if only the mix wasn't so damned flat. Lion Theme sounds like they're trying to tap into Damon Albarn energy and falling short. Feels to me like they are trying to do too much. Also the lyrics are stupid. Wonderful sounds like Beck. Honestly one of the most effective so far. Troubles sounds a bit like a Jaime XX (or just The XX) song. This midsection is working much better so far. Reaching towards more psych influences and letting things space out without crowding 100 ideas into each track. I think there is still some cheese to the lyrics and distant echo effect (makes it feel like they're trying to hard to appeal to the drugged out crowd imo). Simple is another one with terrible lyrics. Generally speaking I think that this makes for enjoyable music if you don't focus too closely. But I really feel like there are too many ideas jammed in. Hard to see this turning around for me. This is either a high 2 or a low 3. Yeah low 3 sounds about right.

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