» LATEST FEATURES

LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
VHS or Beta
Night On Fire CDS
Astralwerks

Rating: 6/10 ?


October 1, 2004

To some, the 80's were all about rock - Bon Jovi, White Snake, Quiet Riot. Little tolerance was given for all those synth dance groups - your Human Leagues, Flock of Seagulls, etc. Yet with the 80's so totally back, most of the pop hair metal still lingers in the ironic has-been cultural wasteland, while dance-rock, disco-punk [whatever] is back with a vengeance, with new relevance.

VHS or Beta is yet another group to throw its shit into the mix and blend nicely with the well-coifed boys in groups like the Rapture and Bloc Party. But, contrary to New York's opinion, it's about the music first and looks second. VHS or Beta's music (or at least this EP) is passable but mostly average and redundant. Though the group has been around for a while, it sounds like they are latecomers to the gravy train of 80's disco-punk revival with a feature track that sounds so much like anything else the iPod DJ's are spinning on Friday nights.

While the album version of "Night On Fire" is sufficiently charged, with a beat and bass line to encourage dancing, the remixes go even further to compel ass shaking. The second cut is a remix by Carlos D of Interpol. It sticks quite close to the original with a little bit more manipulation and flare. The best of the three remixes however is Tommie Sunshine's 'Brooklyn Fire' Retouch. It moves the beat to the forefront, making it sound more metallic and industrial, burying the vocals in the background. It improves the track and adds some originality and variety to the otherwise mediocre single.

Perhaps the group's full length will show them in a better light. As it stands now, this is a track that preens and panders to a converted following of dance-punk enthusiasts without adding any unique flare and spark to set VHS or Beta apart from its peers.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, don't even try to copy this disc. It's smacked up with a menacing FBI Anti-Piracy Warning badge. If they catch you uploading or burning this disc, the government has carte blanche to eat your babies or something similarly drastic.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams

» MEDIA DOWNLOADS

» GOT STICKERS?

If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.

» WORLDWIDE DOMINATION

LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!