By Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr)
With a tagline that promotes their ability to stand aside from the average indie band, Edinburgh trio Betty & The Bass don’t seem to have got Kendrick’s memo about being humble but sometimes you need that vanity to deliver the goods. On their debut EP Bad Magic Trick, Pt.1, they’ve undergone a messy creative process of chucking a bunch of unconnected influences into a cauldron and the outcome resembles a bit of 90’s grunge, a bit of noughties rock and a hefty chunk of fun.
Some of these resemblances are more apparent than others: there’s EGD, a country song if ever you’ve heard one, that goes as far as referencing a similarly styled song by Cage The Elephant and has a similar structure with its verses gradually enforcing an inevitability. It all ends on a stretched out guitar solo that doesn’t overstay its welcome, bringing things to a natural end before naturally segwaying into the most Scottish titled track of 2017 Bruise Lit A Peach.
Opener Another Life is the real embodiment of this clusterfuck of inspiration: part Fratellis, part Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, the song could have so easily fell into the trap of coming off as an Inbetweeners background track but through this variation in style, the alt-rock outfit come off as more…well, them.
As the EP comes to an end, we get a double-sided blade in the form of Someday: the first half is a solid affair, not something that’ll have you itching to skip but one that feels a bit weak in comparison to what came before and especially what comes next. After a mixture of chatting and tuning, the band go from Scotland to Seattle with a grungy mesh, ending everything on such an odd note as to what the band promote throughout but that doesn’t mean it’s a disappointment.
The track, and this EP for the most part, is very much the musical equivalent of eating some Quality Street, forgetting what the colours mean and just playing Russian roulette with them: you didn’t expect that zesty orange chocolate but you sure as hell ain’t complaining about it.