Notes: Beat Connection @ The Echo, November 6, 2015


Beat Connection“>Beat Connection, four affable bros* from Seattle, rolled into the Echo last Friday. The occasion: the drop of their new LP, Product 3, their 3rd overall, 1st for ANTI. Three years in the making, you feel them pushing their groovy rhythmic sounds forward on the song writing and production fronts.

Live, on the small Echo stage the 4-piece dials down nuance and tilts toward jam band instincts, a mode at which they are fairly solid players. The room energy is more dance party than rock show, the crowd respectably filled in if not completely sold out. A healthy mix – some indie heads down front, curious dudes, young lady biz types, that reliable 15% that turn up to anything at the Echo. BC gets it moving well enough. The dancers in the room may want them to hold down some basic 4/4 disco for longer stretches; the rock kids in the room might want the guitar turned up a bit.

That tension between steady beat and polyrhythm, structured guitar songs and synthy atmospheric grooves more or less informs their sound. They deserve some credit for not succumbing to the monogenre blasé that is plaguing indie acts that have an ear for good production. There’s a bit of a broader identity struggle in there though – feel good jams vs. serious art. Even the packaging of the new record – the cover, the all-white/blue and the title of Product 3 (cynicism more suited for Gang of Four) seem weighed down with an attempt at seriousness. I’d rather see them forget any high minded stuff and just dive headlong into the longer, steadier grooves over the poly and song-based stuff, particularly in the live setting. Just trust in the grooves.

*To be clear, I don’t buy into the contemporary parlance that “bro” is a pejorative, synonymous with meatheads, douchebags, jocks, fratboys, etc. There are many decent bros, young men who, perhaps despite appearances, are reliable and upstanding, fighting the good fight. It’s time to reclaim “bro”, good bros.

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