The day Beta Band broke up was sadder for Stereogum than the day Grandaddy called it quits. But Steve Mason had his reasons. Via his unused MySpace page (Tom’s his only friend):
“I have a bigger sense of relief that I’m not in the Beta Band anymore. A lot of the fans of the Beta Band didn’t understand why the break up was happening because we just made the best album of the Beta Band. They didn’t understand that we owed the record label a million quid, none of us were making any money and everyone around you is getting paid. Except you.”
Thankfully, in his exit interview Mason announced the resurrection alter-ego King Biscuit Time, under which he produced the must-own No Style. That EP’s upbeat opener “I Walk the Earth” finds a winning formula with three chords, a super-cheesy drum loop, and an infectious and muddled refrain. “Fatheriver” explores abandonment issues in the style of a techno hoedown, with Mason spitting out lyrics as if he were calling a square dance. Elsewhere, King Biscuit Time dabble in gloomy alt-country (“Time to Get Up”) and get in touch with their inner Ween on the helium-voiced “Eye O’ the Dug.” The acoustic ballad “I Love You” offers a fresh musical take on age-old subject matter: “Wish I could be with you now/ Yesterday I cried for the first time/ Just another day to call my own,” Mason murmurs in his thick British brogue. I really love No Style. Available on iTunes here. At least get “Walk The Earth.”
Of course No Style’s nearly six years old. On 5/15, we finally get a full-length follow-up Black Gold, and you can now hear the very promising second single “Kwangchow.” The Internet tells me it’s the capital of the Guangdong province on the Zhu Jiangi delta in southern China. Never been. Sounds pretty.
Go here and click on KWANGCHOW on the bottom. You can double-size the .swf video that pops up, or just minimize the entire screen and take in the tune’s very Beta-esque sounds. If you’ve a “Kwangchow” MP3 (or any of its remixes) send our way.
Keep an eye out for Black Gold. And Steve, we hope you make at least a million quid on it.
UPDATE: Official NEW KBT page on MySpace streams four songs. (Thanks Alexis.)