The Beatophonics - Let's Do This

14 songs
49:02 minutes
***** ***


How does it feel when you suddenly get to play for a band thatís been around for nearly sixty years that has tremendously influenced your own sense of music? This is the question that SÝren Koch must have asked himself that day two years ago when he got to join English rock band The Zombies. He is of course also a very prolific songwriter outside that job, which can best be heard on his band The Beatophonic where he is joined by Rasmus Schroder on bass guitar and Flemming Koch on drums. The two guitarists also share vocals and play a whole bunch of vintage keyboards like mellotron, Farfisa organ, Wurlitzer and Hohner electric pianos...

Compared to their debut from 2015 where the trio was still firmly grounded in the Sixties, sounding somewhat like a well-intended Beatles clone, their new album dares to step into the Seventies which opens up a whole lot of new options. Especially the first half of the album is incredibly well paced, with ballads and power pop songs alternating in a healthy way. The opener Keeps Coming Back To Me starts harmlessly enough but soon surprises with a beautiful chorus and some heart warming mellotron waves. Thereís also a horn section and later on a guitar solo that adds a ton of punch. Itís hardly original, reminds me a lot of ELO, but frankly Jeff Lynne would have to work hard to come up with such a great tune. What Became Of You is a bouncier song that feels like They Might Be Giants teaming up with Elvis Costello. The latterís influence seems to be huge, mostly because of vocal similarities. And then itís time again for another ballad. Beautiful may be very cheesy, but frankly you canít do much wrong once you start using the mellotron. This song has this overdone melancholy that Jellyfish for instance used in the early Nineties. I Can Do With Anybody Else is a highly addictive upbeat song that once again sounds a lot like Elvis Costello, but I can forgive this as the songwriting is impressive and the chorus invites to sing along. The first half ends with two slower songs, hinting at the idea that these Danes feel most comfortable in these territories.

If I gave nine points for the A-side, I have to confess that the B-side, although good in its own right, canít quite keep up with the near perfection of its flipside. The Beatophonics use a lot of varied influences, from romantic pop over soul and even a bass line that sounds a lot like ABBA on Now That You Made It. The album ends with A Very Merry Christmas, which seems to be a bonus track not available on the vinyl version. Itís an archetypical but sweet Christmas ballad on a record that was released about one month after the event.

Fans of unabashed yet unashamed and quite self-confident retro rock should be very pleased with Letís Do It. Itís a much more varied and therefore rewarding experience than their debut, but you have to have a certain fondness for the aforementioned Seventies and Seventies-inspired artists to truly enjoy The Beatophonicsí sound and not simply dismiss it as saccharine kitsch.

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