The Beta Band were outsiders on the so called indie scene, in the late 90's dominated by the likes of Coldplay, Travis etc. While they were more than willing to the flaws in their music, they were way to harsh on themselves. Rarely laspsing in to indulgence, the three Eps of the title show the variety of the early Beta Band.
Starting with what is probably the most well-rounded of the EPs, the Champion Versions, the loose signatures of the Beta Band are put to good use. Opener Dry the Rain could well be the best track on the album, with the band completely taking off during the second chorus, never to really return again. The seal of quality is maintained over the course of the four songs, a welcome relief from forced anthems of the time.
The Patty Patty Sounds is where the Beta Band really abandon song structures, with all of the songs at over 6 minutes. Monolith is the logical extreme of this, and the reason that the EP could'nt be entered into the EP charts, as it was too long. "She's The One" is often acclaimed as the best song on the whole album, with two equally divided sections; the first a fairly usual Beta Band song, the second a complete revelation.
Los Amigos... is different to anything the band did since, the darker themes of the EP explored on the tail end of their first full-length. It starts with Push It Out, my personal favourite of the set. The song has an incredibly tense opening, no insrtuments apart from percussion, and slowly builds to a strangley uplifting climax. The general feel of the EP is ramshackle, with most of the instruments slightly detuned.
This album is one of the best debuts of the decade, and is how this sadly short-lived band should be remembered.