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Business Casual

Author: Jake
08/23/2004 | indieworkshop.com | www.indieworkshop.com | Album Review
From the increasingly fertile ground of the Midwest comes the disjointed rock of Beep Beep. The brainchild of Eric Bemberger and Chris Hughes, Beep Beep is the result of a threesome between 80's dark wave (but not in the trendy/annoying way), chaotic indie rock, and sexually tense rock and roll. And while that still leaves the horizon wide open as far as an explanation goes, it's the only way to get close to what these four guys are doing.

While they do hail from Omaha (and now include Joel Petersen from Broken Spindles/The Faint), the band doesn't really take much of that sound in as influence. There are times you can hear a little bit of Cursive, and other times it is The Faint, but they retain a sound all their own. And even though lines can be (and will be) connected to the Omaha scene, they are taking from all over the Midwest. Bands like The Planet The and Ten Grand will spring to mind randomly, but it always seems to come after you've listened. You never can pin it down while it's on.

It's full of energy, the sound of spastic kids in a room full of breakables… shit gets broken. Any sense of typical song structure is tossed out the window, reckless abandon seems to be the only rule for most of the album. But it works; the chaos seems to become cohesive after only a few listens. And like anything that gets labeled with "weird" or "crazy", it all comes together and makes perfect sense.

Bemberger's vocals are about as wound up, and sexually tense as one person's voice can get. And even though they don't sound like The Violent Femmes, the sexual tension is the same. It's the desperate sound of yearning, and while tons of people try this approach, very few pull it off as well as he does.

Let me try a visual here… I'm not very good at these but here goes…

When you were younger, did you ever take one of your dad's golf balls and try to crack it open? Well, I did… my younger brother helped. We first started with a pair of scissors, chewing away at the outer core of the ball. When a slight crack started to emerge, we had no idea what we were in for. I kept working on that little slit when all of a sudden it just broke loose, tearing the outer casing in two. Inside, a tightly wound ball of rubber bands shot out at us and ricocheted off the ceiling and back in our direction. Of course, we had no idea of the power and force of what laid inside, but once it was released there was no putting a stop to it.

That is Beep Beep. If you give them a chance, they will blow up in your face. They will leave you a little disoriented, but you'll come back for more.

This is a great album. A great break from the monotonous rock cliché that currently rules the scene. If you are ready for something new, this has just jumped up to number one on your list.


Business Casual

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