Not to be confused with Doug Funnie’s band, Jackson Heights’ Beets are a New York staple among the ever burgeoning garage pop scene. And what they may lack in instrumentation they more than make up for in cool.
Everything–and I mean everything–about The Beets screams cool; from the title of their album to the Ray Bans Juan rocks on stage, it all seems like posturing. The drummer doesn’t sit, every song is mid-tempo and carries a slight ‘I’m better than you’ drawl, they sing about the Devil and they reference old WWF characters on their record cover. And it all works.
It would be easy to write off The Beets as yet another student of the garage rock school we’ve been hammered with since Frankie Rose moved to New York. But, to keep the puns rolling, they’re the Cum Laude of their class, even if they’re the sloppy bad boys. With each song strolling along at a pace that’s easily agreeable for most any listener, Spit In The Face… emphasizes the melody and rhythm of earlier garage greats like The Zombies yet still embodies a Joe Meek, freakbeat-era vibe. It’s less punk and more surf with a decidedly East coast bent, including full band sing-a-long choruses. And like most everything Captured Tracks does, it’s lo-fi (and maybe a bit too bass-heavy), but that’s part of the charm.
To be fair, not every track on the CD (12-inch was released way back in April) are winners. Of the twelve tracks, there are a few throwaways that might otherwise get skipped, but interspersed between undeniable greats like “Happy But On My Way”, “What Did I Do” and “Why Should I Live If I Won’t Fit”, what it lacks in consistency is made up for by the fact you’re waiting to hear what will come next.
Whether or not The Beets become the superstars they seemed destined to be or just another band to hate on, when the next generation’s Crypt or Norton are comprising a comp of essential shoulda been hits of the past few decades, you can expect The Beets to be embraced for what they are: A band that writes undeniably cool songs.