It seems almost too early in The Beta Band’s career for them to be a source of derivation, a way to help classify other bands. Sure, the UK bunch itself own much to the likes of Beck, Cornershop, and even The Stone Roses, but the overwhelming uniqueness of their haphazard sound begs for them to be in their own twisted classification. And their effect, however intentional or warranted, can be felt. In a large way, Chapel Hill’s Jennyanykind filter The Beta Band ideal through the amps of full on, Southern blues/rock.
I Need You, the indie band’s second release, might seem like an odd mix? Immediately, you’re drawn into the intimate, jangly “Up Early in the Morning.” It recalls the Beta’s if in no other way then for its deceptive simplicity and catchiness. As far as openers go, its as inviting a song as you could hope for, and it sucks you in to the poppy, Sloan-like “We Can Be Happy.” Then you hear the Velvet Underground-y “Ghostly White” and the instrumental “Acoustic. . .Ambient,” which sounds like a B-side from Zeppelin III. But underneath it all, and more consistently, it’s this British rock that sits on the surface of this profoundly American sound. You might not think at first to lump I Need You with The Band, or Dylan, or the Doors, but when you hear “Young Wrong Blues,” you can’t help but do it.
For a scene that has birthed the likes of Ben Folds Five, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and Archers of Loaf, Chapel Hill is doing pretty well. Jennyanykind fits in wonderfully, with an equally distinct, innovative, and occasionally brilliant record that mercilessly defies classification, and begs to classify.
// Notes from the Road
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