BEAST is a band that I’ve seen twice now, and no disrespect to the band, but I’ve never quite been able to figure out why people love them as much as they do. The reason I say that is very simple, they’re one of the most frantic, energetic and captivating acts I’ve seen on stage. Now, maybe my ears aren’t that great and that’s why I’ve missed this trick, but the bonafide supergroup from Cape Town has made a mess of my head today.
Their debut, Smoke Swig Swear, will take your brain, smash it around, tidy it up again and shove it back into your skull through your aural cavities. Then when you turn it off, you’ll think a little differently of what bands can and can’t do.
The band consists of Inge Beckmann on vocals, Rian Zietsman, Louis Nel – both on bass, and Sasha Righini on the drums. The birth of the band stems from Taxi Violence members, Rian and Louis, who wondered what a band with two basses would sound like. I will take this opportunity to tell you what it sounds like, basically, it sounds like an ass kicking. (And what can better describe the sound of rock and roll other than some good, old fashioned fisticuffs?)
Beckmann’s vocals add some incredible notes, screeches, and squeals to the mix and Righini’s drumming is as brutal and infectious as watching the two bassists jumping around on stage. I didn’t expect this album to sound as rad as it does. Not because I didn’t think the members were up to it, but just because when I’ve seen them live, I couldn’t hear the little things which transform the songs from their demented on stage versions to their more mature, every day listening covers.
The record is well recorded, free to download here, and I would highly recommend you give a spin. It’s an intense offering, certainly not for background music while sitting around the lounge chilling; it’s more of a “stick it in your headphones and walk for days while bopping like an asshole” type of record. The melodies are great, the rhythms tight and even though I’ve never been the biggest Lark fan in the world, Inge’s vocals are MUCH more to my taste when she’s fronting BEAST.
People who know me will know how confused I used to leave BEAST shows, just because it’s so brutal, so fast and so full of energy that I couldn’t get to the heart of the matter. Come to think of it, that might be the entire point behind BEAST, but without an album to compare it to; their live shows always left me a little dubious. I am stoked to admit that it’s all different now though, this album has changed my perception of the band, and I for one can’t wait for the next BEAST show. I’m buying the hype, I’m selling my doubts, and this dude, will abide.