To say there has been a wave of bands adopting lo-fi production standards over the past few years would probably go down as a massive understatement. Perhaps no band has taken lo-fi to its cusp more than Queens, New York noise-pop fetishists The Beets. Stay Home has the exact same approach as their 2009 debut LP, The Beets Spit In The Face of People Who Don’t Want To Be Cool. Although their debut’s concept sounds much more exciting than thirteen songs about…well…staying home, the four piece’s sophomore effort trumps it on all accounts.
The idea of pop songs created with a punk aesthetic is nothing groundbreaking but it is very rarely executed well. The Beets, however, manage to turn their sloppiness into one of their best attributes. For a start, the album is an exceptionally quick listen with most songs barely over the two-minute mark. This essentially cuts down on the fat and leaves behind a fresh, meaty and perfectly formed pop carcass.
Stay Home really only shifts between two gears in the form of slow burning Daniel Johnston-doing-The Black Keys laments (‘Hens and Roosters’, ‘Flight 14′) and the more prominent garage rock chants featuring drunken sailor drums (‘Watching T.V’, ‘Floating’, ‘Knock on Wood’). Quite often the songs on Stay Home flirt with both of these gears simultaneously (‘Let It Dim’, ‘Your Name On My Bones’), creating enough variety in the short album to keep you enthralled all the way from start until finish.
The Beets are a hard band to fathom, in the sense that perceived bad traits in other bands are their good points and that they write perfect pop numbers without even appearing to try or even care. This makes Stay Home all the more unfeasible and all the more enjoyable.