The Beets hail from Jackson Heights, Queens. Singer Juan Wauters and his cohort Jose Garcia play short bursts of fuzzy, poppy, ‘60s inspired, garage rock. Most tracks on this, their second full length, are around 2 minutes long and packed with catchy melodies, scratchy guitars and indecipherable lyrics… although the press release assures me they are “emotive, poetic lyrics” so i’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, but it’s not really about the lyrics here – it’s more about the energy.
Although the tunes are very lo-fi and thin, which initially put me off, thinking “oh not another one”, it kind of fits here and adds to the ‘60s aesthetic of most tracks, opener and highlight ‘Cold Lips’ is a good example of this, the dampened fuzz giving it that authentic, live feel, is if it was being played on a 7” on a portable record player. The Beets music can be closely compared to that of Black Lips or Strange Boys but it just isn’t as refined in terms of songs or sound – although there are a few great tunes on the record, there aren’t enough to stop it getting boring. The basic recording doesn’t help when listening to a boring song either, it’s not fuzzy enough to feel like some kind of purposeful statement or aesthetic and the weak guitars and muffled vocals do start to drag, like listening to a very long and average demo.
Thats not to say there aren’t any good songs on this record, as there are; the aforementioned ‘Cold Lips’, the drunken sing-a-long ‘Floating’, the boppy, Beatles style ‘Young Girl‘ and the subdued closer ‘Flight 14’. To be fair, these tracks could have made up a decent EP, rather than their current position as the skip-to tracks on an average album.
The problem with this record is that is has nothing new to it at all, it’s another lo-fi garage rock/pop record with not much to offer in terms of interesting ideas, and only contains a few good tracks. Of course, it’s not going to be everyones cup of tea and even as someone who is a fan of the more DIY indie from Sarah to Captured Tracks, to me this record still seems a bit dull on the whole, it’s not got me exited at all and thats the one thing this kind of music should do.