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"Slush Puppy / Cola EP"

Beaty Heart – Slush Puppy / Cola EP
14 November 2011, 16:07 Written by Michael James Hall

Beaty Heart are a busy buzzy band indeed. Plenty of legend about ‘wild’ house party gigs, plenty of scenester-aided self-mythologising and other such fun stuff – and yeah, sometimes the tales bands tell and their propagation through the blogs and fashion mags can be fresh, can give a little bit of entertainment value to shonky little faux talented units, even sometimes mask a lack of skill and originality in the shoddiest of bedroom shufflers. Funny thing about Peckham’s Beaty Heart? They just don’t need it.

A propulsive, pouncing 6 and a half minutes of cascading joy, antsy little breaks and awkward little bursts, ‘Slush Puppy’ is a marauder of a tune – massaging your mind with mellow mallow hums, contorting into towering psychedelic shapes, almost conjuring the visuals the band cloak themselves under during their live sets, while triggering sense memories of the adventurousness of The Flaming Lips, the purposeful strangeness of animal Collective.

In a set-up where three out of four members play drums you know that the beats are going to feature high and heavy – but here, while clearly vital, they aren’t overstated or even the focal point – they simply hold steady and strong while the track melts, pools and regroups around them.

Like fellow South East Londoners Breton, the Beatys (can’t see that catching on) ascribe an urban edge to their zonked rhythms but where the Breton boys would give a tune like ‘Cola’ a hard, cool tone, these boys let the grooves hang like out-turned pockets, each swerve a gentle nudge back onto the trippy poppiness tramlines made popular by so may US college bands over the last few years.

‘We’re All Friends Here’ leans on a smacky strum of guitar and an echoing vocal line that recalls some of the kindest elements of 90s shoegaze without sounding contrived. Even when their trademark alt-world beats roll in there’s nothing of the try-hard about them. You could, if pushed, say that the song is actually beautiful.

On this basis, Beaty Heart too are a beautiful thing, with or without the hype.

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