To think that it has been twenty years since Scots, The Beta Band, released The Three E.P.’s is rather mindblowing, and if it wasn’t for that mere moment in High Fidelity (based on the Nick Hornby novel) when John Cusack’s character put that single on in his record store, then who knows what would have happened. We might perhaps have missed this psychedelic talent, a short-lived Scottish band that slipped by the waist-side. However, that is not the case, and after many incarnations, The Beta Band had an acclaimed back-catalogue of records, and they certainly got a lot more attention from that short scene in this somewhat commercial, depicting counter-culture (literally counter culture).
The song featured was Dry The Rain, the very first track on the The Three E.P.’s and got everyone’s heads bopping along in that shy but affected style, and when I say everyone I mean everyone. Not just those in the scene. You and I were all doing it too. But that is not the only track on this remaster that will have you head-bopping or flossing, whatever gets you moving. B + A is a builder but when it reaches peak and the bass is accompanied, the pace is hypnotic, and the instrumental track is impactful. She’s The One, and Push It Out transcend nicely as the blurring of riffs and head-spinning chords, throw us out of one and into the next.
The House Song is a wonderful track, for the most part culminated of vocals, highlighting Steve Mason’s talent, and is it any surprise he has forged a solo career in more recent years?! The base, the vocals, the synth, the recordings and samples all beautifully litter this record to create a welcomed aural landscape. It is rather wonderful to hear them all remastered on this 20th Anniversary re-issue, a trip back to the late nineties, discovering unheard of bands and realising that they too were Scottish.
Dr Baker and Needles in my Eyes round it all off nicely, the former with a cinematic piano-based intro, also highlighting the complexities of the band, the latter using that all-too familiar riff and drum chord combo (which we hear on Push It Out and She’s The One), but with the lyrics, “twisting through my mind, please pull me to the light alright.” Innovative in their music and aesthetic, this band will always be cherished by the Scottish music scene (you will find memorabilia of them currently sat in the National Museum of Scotland) and I, too, would not be able to dote on my teenage years without considering their part to play.
The Three E.P.’s is out on Friday September 14th 2018 on Because Music.