VHS or Beta

Bring on the Comets

The British and French can barely conceal their contempt for one another, so leave it to a band from Louisville, Ky., to unite their rich, if diametrically opposed, musical traditions. On Bring on the Comets, VHS or Beta splits the difference between Parisian house and U.K.-based new wave – the kind ignited by New Order and commercially perfected by Duran Duran and the Cure. Retrofitted with a Hookish bass line, "Fall Down Lightly" is a radiant and fitting homage to the short-lived British era that continues to inspire it. Elsewhere, VHS or Beta more explicitly explores its fascination with French club music – "Love in My Pocket" and "Burn It All Down" wisely temper jagged guitars with Daft Punk's smooth, steady sense of rhythm. The British and French might not be any closer to burying the hatchet, but with Bring on the Comets, VHS or Beta certainly provides incentive toward a speedy resolution. 3 stars