It opens with Hey Leanne ("ALIEN"! Get it?!?!) which successfully manages to condense the confusion, disorientation and tension of Close Encounters of the Third Kind into seven minutes. Part sound-collage, part touching country ballad, it evokes a sleepy "Anytown USA", in which a simple farmer laments the disappearence of his wife, apparently abducted by aliens, and wonders why those government men are snooping 'round. Things get a tad unnerving, the organs build up, dogs bark, the tension mounts then HUZZAH! Only Waiting explodes into life. It's frentic psychedelic rock which transforms halfway through into a strangely cosmic form of hip-hop, with a staggering train-of-thought vocal performance which is literally impossible to keep up with.
Then comes Robot Man, the lead single from the EP. The first half is downright funky and catchy as hell, but half-way through the piano kicks in, then guitar, and things get positively folktronic! One of the most insanely interesting songs of recent memory which scores extra points as a direct result of the fact that it's irresistably danceable. Like a cosmic rave, it's everything The Klaxons tried (and failed miserably) to achieve...
Robot Man segues wonderfully into Ionas. Hey Leanne being little more than a (highly effective) extended intro to Only Waiting, this is really the only song on the EP which can't also be found on the forthcoming Astronomy for Dogs album. Well, I CAN confirm that anyone who enjoyed the album enough having not heard this EP who wants more really would find a purchase worth their while. Ionas is a beautiful ode to the overwhelming vastness of space which sounds like the dream cross between Spiritualized's "I Think I'm In Love" and Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage/Eclipse". If space travel's in your blood it will take you to a very happy place indeed...and that guitar solo is just...celestial.
An essential purchase! A band to look out for! It pains me to say it, but given that TWO great bands sprang from the ashes (King Biscuit Time also rocks!), perhaps the demise of The Beta Band shouldn't be mourned so much...I still pray for a reunion someday, though.