Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Album Review: The Beths - Warm Blood (EP, 2016)

The Beths are a small part of a much greater Auckland-based collective whole, a group of musical projects that include the likes of Sal Valentine & The Babyshakes and others. Long-time friends Elizabeth Stokes, Jonathan Pearce, Benjamin Sinclair and Ivan Luketina-Johnston seem intent on using this project to revive and celebrate the increasingly lost art of high energy guitar pop. Starting with the bouncy ‘Whatever’, which combines hooks, crooks and guitar solos, Warm Blood is a whirlwind 19-minute blast across five high tempo tracks. Each pays homage to a bygone era in one form or another, and all contain a distinctly retro post-punk fraying around the edges. Pearce recorded, mixed and mastered the EP, and while for the most part Stokes is the lead vocalist, the band embrace girl/boy vocal exchanges and clever harmonies, and use catchy backing vocals to provide genuine Beths’ signature moments. Stokes also wrote the majority of the material for Warm Blood, the only exception being Luketina-Johnston’s ‘Rush Hour 3’, which perhaps owes the biggest debt of all to the retro styles of the ’60s beat groups a lot of this music recreates.

This review originally appeared in the August/September 2016 edition of NZ Musician Magazine:


You can purchase the EP on Bandcamp, here:


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