Review of Limbo Messiah Album by Beatsteaks

Beatsteaks make music you simply have to tap your foot to. I'm listening to the album as I type this, and my fingers are hitting the keys in time with the beat, and as such the epidemic levels of catchiness on show on this record simply cannot be denied. Trouble is, catchy isn't always good; remember the Crazy Frog?

Beatsteaks Limbo Messiah Album

The Beatsteaks are a German group, and as I write this I am aware that their albums have done very well in various European charts, both mainstream and alternative... but I just don't get it. Songs like 'E-G-O' sound, to my ears at least, like somebody had simply copy and pasted various different aspects of every half-decent pop-punk song of the last 15 years, pepped an old Oasis riff off and then whacked it all in the oven for twenty minutes - and it does leave a funny taste in the mouth I'm afraid.

'She Was Great', on the other hand, is the worst rip-off of Maroon 5 you're ever likely to hear, the vocals sounding forced and the guitars sounding... There's probably a better word than squishy, but I can't think of one - While 'Bad Brain' is the Arctic Monkeys before it descends into quite substandard pop-punk that tries to provide a little swagger, but ultimately fails. The whole thing just seems flat and uninspired - The sound of a band slumping after 12 years of touring and recording, a dog wandering heartlessly down the side of a desert road, growling at passers-by before it keels over and bites the big one. Every time something happens that makes the listener sit up and take notice, something equally wasteful and lacklustre seems to wash it away, leaving only the disappointment of what you might have got had the song gone how you thought.

To me, the Beatsteaks are like that girl in the club you fancy: Everyone else is always going on about her, so one day you decide to take her home. Kettles boil and Coffee is stirred, but while you're talking to this girl, you just don't see what everyone else does - she's alright, sure, but definitely not in the top 100, at any point...

Or, y'know, a less sexist way of putting it. The Beatsteaks. They're like pie. You really want the pie because other people say it's nice. So you take the pie, peel the top off... and a crab bursts from inside it and snaps it's pincer on your nose, and then you end up disappointed because it didn't live up to expectations.

Yeah, that's what they're like.

Chris Spann

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