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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 9 February 2006
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.
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on 7 January 2005
Genius...Pure Genius.
Very rarely in life does a band come along that completley change the way you listen to music ,maybe in the same way watching Resevoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction changed the way you watch movies.....for me that band was the Beta Band and the album 'The 3 EP's'.
I first heard a snippet of them about 5 years ago, on an NME programme ,where they played 'Dr Baker' and i was spellbound...
I immediately went on line and ordered a copy of 'The 3EP's' and my magical musical journey began.
The first track Dry the Rain is an incredible indie anthem which slowly meanders to a creshendo...just wait till that bassline kicks in!!!....you will be roaring the chorus'If there is something inside that you want to say...say it ,alright, it will be okay...i will be your light...i will be your life'....
Other outstanding tracks are...well all of them....but all in a unique and different way.....'Shes the One' will have you thrashing your Acoustic Air Guitar and belting out the chorus in a tonsil snapping fashion.
'Needles in my Eyes' is a gentle strole of a tune..beautiful...and 'Dogs got bone' follows in the same vein
giving you the impression they were horizontal when they recorded it!!..'Monolith' is not actually a song...more like a tripped out psychadelic dream sequence...it would help if you were 'in mode' to truly appreciate this track....'Push it out' is a tantric repetative tune that you will never tire of hearing ,with a message....repeat 200 times and you WILL feel better!!!.....i could go on but ill save the last mention to Dr Baker musically diverse punctuated with a sleepy piano rift that will take you by surprise the first time you hear it.......Breathtaking..
Sadly the Beta Band have split(Nov2004) but their musical legacy will continue on through their amazing catalogue....for me this album is their best with the following 3 albums all coming close to brilliance of their first....
Steve Mason is continuing with his King Biscuit Time project with the other lads all off to persue their own magical musical journeys...
Steve,John,Richard and Robin...it has been my true pleasure.....Pure Genius and truly seminal....Thank You.
Kev
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on 8 November 2002
Its clear thee guys have real talent. This album has some mind blowing tracks. Anyone who is serious about their music should own it. Songs such as Dry the Rain Dog got a Bone, Inner Meet Me Shes the one, It's Over and needles in My Eyes are fantastic. The problem with this album is sometimes they try to stay away from the norm purely for the sake of it. Monolith is 1/4 of an hour of the most self indulgent noise i have ever heard. Some of the other tracks are also a bit like this but this is a small thing to put up with for the brilliance of the rest
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on 25 March 2007
I love this getting back into music during my (early!) forties lark. I keep discovering things that are just so good that they are almost beyond description. In some ways I'm so glad that I missed out on years of music listening (being busy with work etc) because I've got so much more to discover. I came across this when I heard the excellent debut by the Aliens, 'Astronomy For Dogs' and read about the Beta Band whose core formed The Aliens after Gordon Anderson's eventual recovery from mental illness.

This is just beautiful. The whole album is the collected three EPs first released by the band in the 1990s and it is fantastically imaginative all the way through. "Dry The Rain" is famously played in the film 'Hi-Fidelity' and though I've watched that film a few times I can't say I noticed, hearing it now though while I'm really listening and not watching a film it does grab you somewhat. I really love the way the song develops over 6 minutes to include the brass which makes this much more than just another indie track. I'd have to say though that the tracks at the end of the album are the highlight. "She's The One", "Push It Out" and "Dr Baker" are just stunningly good!

The influences for this music seem to come from all over the place (Pink Floyd, Trip Hop, Folk, Incredible String Band, Gregorian Chanting), but the influences are never allowed to take the front seat. There isn't anything derivative about this at all. This is just great music. I've already ordered 'Heroes to Zeroes' and 'Hot Shots II' on the back of this and if they're only a 10th as good as this they'll be a bargain.

Oh, and if you've heard this and like it why not try Tunng's 'Comments of The Inner Chorus' which is another quirky mix of folk and electronica (sounds much like 'Inner Meet Me') that came out last year but many people missed.

Wonderful discovery, glad I bought it. (9/10)
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on 22 April 2002
Going backwards in time, I bought this off the back of "Hot Shots" and am delighted to hear a better album even than that.
It's so refreshing to hear a band allow their music to develop naturally through layers of groove. They obviously put down what they like and it's a happy coincidence that anyone with a soul will love it too.
One of the things that stands out for me on most Beta Band music is the balance of vocals to instrumentation. They clearly enjoy playing as there are large patches of purely instrumental sound here, but dive in with whispy ethereal vocals when it suits.
More power to them and if they start up a political party I know where my X will go.
Great stuff.
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on 17 January 2005
A modern classic. Nowadays every album is a modern classic, so the description's lost all merit. However, I am convinced that this one genuinely is.
1) Dry The Rain - Very catchy with a wonderful refrain and inspired horns. In many ways the best track on the album.
2) I Know - Quite crunchy, with lo-fi bass, clean, crisp chords and kitchen sink drumming. In many ways the best track on the album.
3) B+A - A simple riff, repeated over and over, on top of backwards sounding drums. Explodes into a psychadelic breakdown. In many ways the best track on the album.
4) Dog's Got A Bone - Reminds me of a barbeque - warm and sunny. In many ways the best track on the album.
5) Inner Meet Me - Sprawling acoustic epic with space age sound effects. In many ways the best track on the album.
6) The House Song - Sampled and looped lyrics, a japanese rap and a downright funky feel. In many ways the best track on the album.
7) Monolith - Fifteen minutes of The Beta Band messing around with weird samples. In many ways the best track on the album.
8) She's The One - A simple two chord love song with a psychadelic outro that you don't want to end. In many ways the best track on the album.
9) Push it Out - Sounds quite improvised and is extremely melancholic. In many ways the best track on the album.
10) It's Over - Tragic blues, with a circular bass riff. In many ways the best track on the album.
11) Dr. Baker - Tragic piano driven ballad in which Steve Mason sings like a monk. In many ways the best track on the album.
12) Needles In My Eyes - Optimistic end with quite an ethereal sound. In many ways the best track on the album.
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on 22 May 2001
I dont want to write a long review on this album (although I'm sure it deserves one).
Quite simply, its like lifting a stone to find a strange ethereal gem which will lock your gaze-in short it is fascinating music for the discerning.
Its such a good thing they arent big, as in remaining understated, they retain an untouchable, magical quality.
Each song is a small journey into an otherworldly soundscape. If you get a chance watch "High Fidelety" and see how John Cusack gets 5 record sales in 5 minutes. "Dry the rain" is the crux-spirit of the whole album.
Hope theres more lamps with genies in where these guys are from- check it out.
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Despite owning this album for a year now, it only really hit me today just how amazing it really is. There are very few immediately grabbing songs on here - the opener Dry the Rain is an obvious exception. But that said, there isn't a bad track. Each song starts off simply and sometimes, particularly with the repetitive strains of inner meet me and monolith, this can get annoying for the first minute or so. but given time, easch track breaks into a fantastic beat driven sweeping instrumental and there is nothing more amazing than listening to the evolution that goes on on some of these tracks. istening to this in the garden today with the sun shining, very nearly brought me to my knees in awe of this great great piece of music. Why haven't you bought it yet?
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on 24 November 2003
A credit to innovative and intelligent alternative music, the Beta Band remind you that it's ok to have fun when you're making music. 'The Three EPs' is an amalgamation of their 3 previous releases, 'Champion Versions', The Patty Patty Sound' and 'Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos', and they all go together wonderfully. There is such a rich mix of folk, indie, jazz, dance, trip-hop and ambient, to mention but a great many others, that you'll never get bored of this album once it gets its teeth into you. Tracks like 'Dry the Rain' and 'B+A' are nice and easy to get into, gradually gaining more texture and sound as they move along, whilst 'The House Song' is a dance/indie affair with hilarious pseudo-French rapping, and 'Dr Baker' is a surreal mix of gregorian chanting and beautiful piano chords followed by crashing drums and crazy guitars. Perhaps the only real fault with 'The Three EPs' is that its eclecticness can make it an acquired taste, and not accessible to the younger listener. That aside however, this is a cracking album, and a must-have for the discerning music-lover.^_^
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on 14 September 2000
Well my oh my is this special. I'm excited by the prospect of someone reading this, deciding to buy it and experiencing an epiphany as it seeps into their soul. You're lucky to have arrived at this defining moment in your life. The music on this CD will touch your every emotion and leave you feeling totally fulfilled. It gets better with every listen and will be your friend for life. You'll fall in love with this CD as you have never fallen in love before. If you don't believe me - just try it. You'll thank your lucky stars that you did as soon as the gentle strum of 'Dry The Rain' begins to seduce you.
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