Saddle Creek | Beep Beep | Reviews


Enchanted Islands

04/02/2009 | | | Live Show Preview
Beep Beep is kind of weird.

It's mostly intentional. Band members have some onstage personas that involve strange accents and voices. Or sometimes singer Eric Bemberger will call out the name to a song and then play 15 seconds of noise.

That's not to mention the band's actual songs, which can be equal parts melodic and frenetic while Bemberger sings with a high, falsetto voice. It can all be pretty strange.

"Usually we're playing to people who haven't heard us before, and they think we're being serious," Bemberger said. "Things just get a little weird."

You can witness some of the strangeness Saturday when Beep Beep celebrates the release of its album "Enchanted Islands" with a performance at the Waiting Room.

"We do a lot of between-song audience interaction. We're just so tired of that barrier of coolness between band and audience," Bemberger said. "We don't like it to be a one-way experience. We're not better than or more interesting than anyone we're playing to."

Bemberger said he didn't get into music to make money or be famous. He just wanted to start a band and see where it took him. It's a bonus that Saddle Creek Records likes the band's music enough to put out its record.

"I don't necessarily consider myself a musician in any real sense," Bemberger said. Beep Beep's music is "just as embarrassing as it is interesting to me."

On "Enchanted Islands," Bemberger sings in falsetto on most songs. Part of it is the desire to just do something different and part of it is a reaction to what Bemberger called misperceptions of the band's first album, "Business Casual."

The album "was, by some people, viewed as this aggressive, masculine statement," Bemberger said. "It was definitely more of a cornered feline vibe that we were going for. We tried to remove any sort of aggression from 'Enchanted Islands.'

"I'm employing this falsetto that no one would willfully choose to employ. For some reason, it makes perfect sense for us. It conveys something that lyrics themselves cannot. It was an attempt at creating something bizarre, beautiful, delicate and still - in keeping with Beep Beep - uncomfortable."

It took more than four years for "Enchanted Islands" to get released. Every band member but Bemberger got involved in other projects or didn't have time for the band, while one flat-out lost interest in music altogether. The album was recorded at the Faint's Enamel recording studio, and Bemberger mixed it himself on his laptop.

It was finished more than a year ago, but it was delayed further because Saddle Creek's release schedule was full.

"Somehow Beep Beep continues to survive," Bemberger said. "Beep Beep is just a weird entity. It's always going to be weird no matter how you slice it. It's kind of reached a bit of an apex with its ability to get more weird."


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