VHS or Beta

Bring On the Comets | Astralwerks
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 20, 2007
0.5 0.5 Stars
This amiable Louisville-based trio drew acclaim in indie circles a few years ago with a groove-heavy live-band take on Daft Punk’s deep-pile disco house. Since then, VHS or Beta have convinced themselves that there’s more worth exploring in verse-chorus rock songs than in all-instrumental jams. Which is too bad: Night on Fire, the band’s first full-length, sacrificed what made their debut EP so distinctive in a misguided attempt to keep up with the Killers. And the same goes for their sophomore set. A handful of tracks sport catchy-enough new-wave melodies — the key change in “Love in My Pocket” is an admirable trick — but for the most part, singer-songwriter Craig Pfunder doesn’t justify the presence of vocals and lyrics. Airless and predictable, “Can’t Believe a Single Word” and “Burn It All Down” sound like cutting-room scraps by Franz Ferdinand. The wordless, minute-long opener “Euglama,” though — that’s worth digging.

VHS or Beta + Walter Meego + Dj Carbo | Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Boston | August 28 | 617.566.9014
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