Music News

VHS or Beta

For any old coot who survived the days of coke spoons and feathered hair, disco's crowning achievement boils down to either Donna Summers's Love to Love You Baby or the Bee Gee's Saturday Night Fever. Even though both records make for fine camping soundtracks, you've got to give the nod to the brothers Gibb: Their double LP simply burns longer in a bonfire. But don't tell that to retro-minded scenesters who missed out on the disco inferno the first time around. Synthetic rapture has a new champion in VHS or Beta, a fourpiece from Louisville, Kentucky, that turns vocoders, electronic drums and plenty of wicka-wicka-wah-wah guitar into a good excuse to pull down your pants and dance. Enjoyably superficial, the act just completed its second full-length, Night on Fire, a creamy-textured throwback that owes as much to Chic and Daft Punk as it does to arena rock. Hot off a tour opening for Duran Duran, VHS or Beta is as catchy as the clap and tighter than Cher's face. How deep is your love?
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John La Briola