Beaty Heart - Slush Puppy/Cola EP (Worry Free Records)
October 24, 2011
I've always known that Beaty Heart are big fans of the drum, but it seems they are also fans of the chanted vocal. This is the sound of guys who like to get everyone together to have a good time. Their sound is loose and carefree, dreamy and light. There is also a lot going on, ideas simmer, boil up and move. Forward, and on to the next idea. The antithesis of the hippy drum circle: less serious, more fun. Fewer acai berry and seaweed soy shakes, more beers!
'Slush Puppy' switches from pounding drum circle rhythms to a cacophony of snapping clicks as drumsticks rattle on drum rims, basslines bubble up from behind the swirl, extra backing vocals burst on to the scene, instruments and looped samples fade in and out. It really is a 'shifting sands' type of song.
'Cola' is a more mellow affair, like floating down a river, looking up at the through arched tree branches, sun-dappled face - and it all suddenly ends with a vocal sample that makes you feel like you’ve actually just woken up in a bus station in Mexico. 'We’re All Friends' is the weakest track here but only in relative terms. As the shortest, it doesn’t feel as if it has the opportunity to develop its ideas as well as the other two songs.
The whole thing surprisingly isn’t a swamp of fuzzed up lo-fi, which works wonders here. The crispness of the production (which does allow crinkly edges, and blurry drums from time to time) gives enough room for ideas to be introduced and develop. The tracks tend to build in complexity, and it is only through avoiding a swamp of overlapping lo-fi fuzz that you can appreciate the sheer number of ideas they build up to from the start of a track to its culmination.
Is it really so bad to say that one group are reminiscent of another? This won’t be the first time that Beaty Heart are compared to experimental psychedelicists Animal Collective. But being reminded of Merriweather Post Pavilion, to me one of the better phases in Animal Collective’s evolution, is no bad thing surely! The question that hangs over Beaty Heart is where they go from here? They are definitely capable, entertaining and fun, but can they become singular?
words: Simon Garner
Beaty Heart play Harper Adams University, Newport (October 21), Dempsey's @ S?n festival (22), Sacred Trinity Church, Salford (November 9), Crunch ‘Music and Philosophy’ Festival, Hay on Wye (19), Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (23), Start the Bus, Bristol (24) and Green Door Store, Brighton (25).