The BETHS – ” Jump Rope Gazers “

Posted: July 11, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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By all conventional wisdom, The Beths should have arrived in 2018 just to say “hello!” and then never be heard from again. After all, their debut album ‘Future Me Hates Me’ saw the Auckland quartet serve up fuzzy, gently ironic power pop that in lesser hands would be indistinguishable from the garage band next door.

The Beths stood out, however, not just because their songs were catchy as hell but because they were rendered with palpable exuberance. The guitars sounded wonderfully brash, the drums teetered on the edge of chaos and, most notably, chatty vocal harmonies from guitarist Jonathan Pearce kept jolting out of nowhere as if he couldn’t help himself from piping up and sending these songs over the top. The album’s sonic delights were as entrancing as the songs themselves — this was music that dared you not to like it.

The Beths have now returned with ‘Jump Rope Gazers’, a second album that adopts a decidedly different approach: not so much leaping out of their songs as inviting its listener in. The lyrics are denser, the music moodier and every sound is more studied and measured. While ‘Future Me Hates Me’ was a mostly chipper affair — its title track expressing regret and self-loathing through a kind of droll, winking meme-speak. On the title track they veer into full-on balladeering, a direction the first record never even approaches, with the whistle-clean and unabashedly wistful end product sounding like it could be a long-lost Cranberries outtake. With genre, performance and production, the band are trying new things here — and that alone is worth something.

The Beths are: Elizabeth Stokes, Jonathan Pearce, Benjamin Sinclair, Tristan Deck

Jump Rope Gazers” features on The Beths’ sophomore album “Jump Rope Gazers”, out now via Carpark Records.

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