Thursday, March 11, 2010

CD of the Day: ‘The Three E.P.’s,’ The Beta Band (1998)

Rob Gordon didn’t sell just five copies of this album in “High Fidelity,” he sold at least six because I went out and bought it as soon as I saw that movie. (Yes, that’s three “HF” references of late—I love it.)

As the name clearly states, this disc is a collection of three different EPs that have widely varying levels of accessibility. The first, “Champion Versions,” is the best. It features “Dry the Rain,” the mesmerizing song featured in the movie, and heavy-percussion instrumental “B + A.” There are diminishing returns the rest of the way, however.

The second EP, “The Patty Patty Sound,” is mostly experimental noise with the focal point being 16-minute-long “Monolith.” The third EP, “Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos,” returns to something resembling actual songs. The highlight here is the minimalist chanting of “Dr. Baker.”

Overall, “The Three E.P.’s”—and probably The Beta Band, in general—isn’t for someone like me, who came to this CD hoping for more from where the spectacular “Dry the Rain” came from. "Champion Versions" gets an A-, but as a whole "The Three E.P.'s" earns a …

Grade: C+

Favorite Track: “Dry the Rain”

Least Favorite Track: “Monolith”

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