Is anyone else out there waiting for the Monsters of Psychedelia tour to appear next summer? Imagine the joy of Capt. Beefheart jamming with Of Montreal, Olivia Tremor Control and Macha while Phish looks on (jealously). It's a frightening prospect, to say the least.
The Beta Band would probably take the cake for all-round messed up at that festival, and would hopefully provide an example of the schizophrenia that prolonged hallucinogen abuse can cause. With less coherence than a psych floor without their meds, The Beta Band open their self-titled album by throwing down a cut that starts out as a 50s doo-wop children's singalong, morphs into a G Love and Special Sauce jam, and ends with a low grade Elvis impersonator snarling drunkenly at some small town fair. Total song length: 4:40. Break out the blotter, weOve got a long ride ahead.
While "Free yr ass, etc." is a noble pursuit, the Beta Band have reversed the polarity of that saying by freeing their minds first. And while the ass valiantly tries to keep up, most of the time it just can't. Bouncing from 60s acoustic acid-folk to cut-and-paste songs that resemble grade school collages that answer the question "What Is Music?", Mr Toad's Wild Ride can't hold a match to this. At times, the listener is left wondering when the ride will end, but The Beta Band just keeps asking if you want to go faster.
Recommended Tracks: Round The Bend, Broken Up A Ding Dong, The Hard One
By Derek McEwan
Jul 23, 2001