Betari's Box - Betari's Box EP

  by Denzil Watson

published: 7 / 4 / 2014

Betari's Box - Betari's Box EP

Label: Betari's Box
Format: CDS
Strong five-song debut EP from Sheffield/Oxford-based electro-pop three-piece, Betari’s Box


Formed out of the ashes of the five-piece, Sheffield-based, film-noir sound-tracking, alt-country rocker Screaming Mimi, Betari’s Box feature ex-Mimi’s singer Loretta Chantry and guitarist Jon Groves with the addition of Oxford-based bassist Jenny Waiting. Having been gigging for the last year or so, this neatly packed 5-track EP is their official release debut. Opener ‘Whip’ sees an ice-cool narrated vocal by Loretta over a rolling, tensile guitar motif that gives way to a rising keyboard bridge that reminds me of the Stranglers of all things (this is no bad thing, I hasten to add). Second track ‘Crooked Lines’ is a much lighter electro indie-pop affair as synths swirl and bleep around Loretta’s sugar-coated Deborah Harry-esque vocals. It’s a breezy track that doesn’t outstay its welcome and has ‘radio-play’ plastered all over it. Next up, the heavy drum thuds of ‘The Note’ with its stabbing, prodding guitars is darker and less immediate than its predecessor but no less enjoyable as it morphs into some clever electronic trickery. Penultimate track, ‘The Torment of Martha’ sounds naggingly familiar but I just can’t quite put my finger on what, as the guitars play back-seat to the synths. The best is, however, saved for last. The final track is truly fantastic and, for me, the pick of the bunch. It’s also the closest they get to their previous incarnation with the track’s vortex of jangling guitars and sci-fi synths. Imagine putting the Sisters of Mercy, Portishead, Luke Haines and a Gerry Anderson theme tune into the music blender and pushing mix. Yes, it really is that good. The only potential own-goal here is the track’s title (‘Gormless Bastards’). There’s no doubt this is a very strong opening taster from the Sheffield/Oxford-based electro-pop three-piece. It’s a thin line between aping the past or turning your influences into something new and interesting. While their love of 80’s and 90’s indie-pop are there for all to see, there’s most definitely some new tricks in this particular box.

Track Listing:-

1 Whip
2 Crooked Lines
3 The Note
4 Torment of Martha
5 Gormless Bastards

Band Links:-

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