Beta Wolf – Just Before Morning EP – Mini Review

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Founded in 2010 after the band Takota took a dirt nap, five-piece, Los-Angeles-based Betawolf hasn’t had much time to slow down and smell the flowers. They’ve had placement of their music in a feature film, we’re invited to this year’s SXSW, as well as releasing a multiplitude of music videos to get their music out their even further. The band is currently recording their full-length while they have recently released their new EP, “Just Before Morning” which is exactly what we’re checking out today.

Taking a deviation from bands Takota‘s melodic indie past, “Just Before Morning” jumps immediately into a touching rock ballad, “Just Before Morning,” as it channels the spirit of multiple bands from that 90′s power ballads collection commercial from a few years back (Warrant, White Snake, you know the deal). Aging rock themes seem to be Beta Wolf‘s M.O. as the rest of the EP unfolds, lead singer Grant Arnow‘s voice houses a familiar croon, solos are plentiful and ordinary, and there is a song about sunbathed L.A. (“Los Angeles, if you only knew. Nobody loves you the way that I do.“)

I guess the retro sound fits right in with the trend-conscious hipster ears of SXSW, but the only song that really did anything for me was the more rough-around-the-edge riffs and contrasting melodic verse fretwork in “Last Man Standing,” but even that song takes a quick dive down to catchy chorus town and almost makes me emote a sad face. Either way, this effort doesn’t have anything wrong with it on paper — Grant’s vocals are on tone and the percussion doesn’t miss a beat, but it just doesn’t sound that interesting. It’s painfully ordinary to those looking for more than just a radio-friendly rock ballad. Maybe Beta Wolf can stop preoccupying their time with what TV show/movie their music will be played in and focus on making compelling indie music ala. Takota for their full-length. [Staff]

Score: 3 (out of 5)

Release Date: July 31st, 2012
Record Label: Congregation Records
Genre: Classic Rock
RIYL: Harris Grade, Copper, Theset

Track Listing:
1. Just Before Morning
2. Domino
3. Los Angeles
4. Who’s Holding On to You
5. Last Man Standing

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