reviewed by Jack Derricourt
The Betrayers make music to burn cars to. Not in some cheap, ‘we gotta get the day’s shooting done before Alexi opens his new club’ kind of fashion, but with a tough sense of hopeless Saturday nights and bored gasoline cannisters.
There are many familiar sounds on Let the Good Times Die, the most recent vinyl/ digital release from the Edmonton garage band: Piano and distorted guitar pairings that bring on fitful stirrings from the Stooges catalogue; psychedelic guitar pickings and glowing organ chords; ghostly tambourines and sultry, cigarette-concerned vocals. The distinguishing feature that raises The Betrayers up from the ashes of just another cool rock band to watch careening into the aether of 2014 is the tasteful application of disparate rock and roll material. That, and the fact that they have two drummers.
The thirteen tracks on Let the Good Times Die explore pockets of song that few others have gotten to so effectively. The acid rain of “Born to Cry” will have boys and girls ready to throw on their favourite Glaswegian rock band t-shirt: distorted, rhythmic guitars and simplified drum beats work to prop up the leaning male and female vocal arrangements. The fuzz bass that brings in “Cherry Beach” promises danger, that the band fully commits to with beautfully recorded, pounding drums. Femme Fatales and tales of the road creep into the lyric material — the stuff of classic 45s and drunken jukebox evenings. The weirdness of the album takes a powerful upswing with the cover of Danish synth duo Laid Back’s disco hit “White Horse.” Syth, vocals, guitar, drums, all fall apart and won’t get up again as the track comes to a close. And then the band throws out the summer positivity clobber of “Song for Sue.” There are marvellous twists and turns all over this release.
It’s not often a group gets it so right. Get over to their website and grab a download — or chip in the extra couple of bucks and get yourself some soylent green vinyl — and grab your nearest gas can. Life is sweet with the Betrayers on your stereo.
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)
Top Tracks: “Cherry Beach” ; “White Horse”