New Band Of The Day: Beta Blocker And The Body Clock

Lo-fi scuzz pop band Beta Blocker And The Body Clock have been one of a few bands helping to gain Oxford’s music scene a reputation as one of the best in the country at present. Sean Diamond’s a fan & introduces us to the band below.

Beta Blocker And The Body Clock are a two-piece band from the fair old city of Oxford, one of many exciting new acts from the town looking to make waves in a recession scorched, troubled country which needs musical heroes and artists to believe in more than ever before. Vincent Hollywell (vocals, guitar) and Matt Girling (drums) used to play together in a pop / punk / ska outfit called The Scarletts; their socially conscious lyrics, snappy dressing and boisterous live shows gained them a loyal cult following, and they were certainly one of the most entertaining groups on the live circuit at the time.

 BBATBC, however, are a different kettle of fish entirely. They describe themselves as “Lo-fi candy fuzz noise”, and that’s a fairly accurate description. Or is it? You see, BBATBC are one of those acts who genuinely mess with the head and confound all expectations; a genuine sonic headfuck of a band. Their new EP, ‘Courtside Baby’ (available to downlaod for free from here) is a truly baffling release which will either make you punch your fist in the air in jubilation or sit there scratching your head in puzzlement, wondering what the fuck it’s all about. Possibly both. There really is no middle ground with these guys. Shades of The Mary Chain in there, echoes of the narcotic droning of Spacemen Three, the avant garage thud of the velvet underground, the sugar sweet girl group harmonies of The Ronettes and Shangri-Las, and the joyous surf pop singalongs of Jan And Dean, all filtered through the production techniques of ‘Night Of The Purple Moon’ era Sun Ra. All in the space of four tracks. Sometimes all at the same time. Like I say, no middle ground.

Their live shows are just as beguiling. Hollywell standing centre stage, flat peaked cap and long hair, making very little eye contact with the audience, resembling the long lost son of J Mascis. Matt Girling’s chaotic, strong armed drumming soundtracking a journey to the centre of Hell. The sharp taste of the madness rendered slightly more palatable by the sunny melodies rising up from the aural fog. Confusing, messy, pretty, ugly, uplifting, downbeat, angry, sad, all of this and more. Beta Blocker And The Body Clock have the potential to change lives, for the better or worse. Or maybe both. The question is; are you prepared to let them change yours? I’m not saying it’ll be an easy ride, far from it, but you may be thankful for it it in the long run. You could start by checking em out live. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Courtside Baby can be downloaded for free from Bandcamp.
The band are on Facebook here and their Soundcloud page is here.

All words Sean Diamond. More articles by sean can be found here.

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