reviewed by Jack Derricourt
It’s no secret that I love the Betrayers. The Edmonton garage group are everything that’s right with the world, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been hooked on them ever since I received my bright green LP of Let the Good Times Die in the mail. It came with a button declaring “You Are a Betrayer.” Just so we establish what kind of bias I’m working under here.
The new 7″ is a simple totem to four-four beats, hand claps, and muffled guitar distortion. Out on Shake! Records just in time for the warming of the earth, these two songs are sure to make the listener stir out of the snow bank.
The A side, “Love Rat,” displays a fondness for surf rock tremolo and the macabre. Moving quickly, the track enables a platform to be built for a strong chorus and a stacatto turnaround into the verse. All is straightforward and lovely in this barely two minute cruiser.
“Smear On the Cross” is a Jesus and Mary Chain minimalist rave off. There are Phil Spector levels of reverb on the drums. The guitar twists off with debilitating effects, the melody shaking apart as it’s played. It’s all done in even less time than the first song. Can you express everything that’s needed in a pop song in one minute and forty six seconds? Yes you can, and the Betrayers do just that.
Sounds of the Sixties permeate this new release. While Let the Good Times Die contained a great range of sonic devices from that era, the LP didn’t touch on an authentic sense of washed out soul like this little 7″ does. I highly recommend you throw it on your turntable at your earliest convenience. Long live the Betrayers!
Top Track: “Smear On the Cross”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)