New Zealand natives The Beths have toured the globe constantly over the past 18 months and have seen their debut LP continue to sell out, forcing the band to repress it for the seventh time recently. The buzz outfit’s Perth show has been a long time coming as it had been rescheduled and forced into a venue changes. The eventual Perth show to promote their album Future Me Hates Me, turned out to be well worth the wait.
Local four piece Tether were by far the most brooding band of the evening. With a focus on the darker side of alt rock, the synth lines and precise drumming is the band’s stong suit. While Tether may not have hooks that will grab you in an instant, there is enough to like about their strident rock, that’ll get you back for repeat listens.
Teen Angst may be the antithesis to the aforementioned band, with their lack of pretence and less that perfect delivery, making them likeable and engaging from the first note. The bookish quartet draw a sound that would have sit comfortably on the C86 cassette. Michelle Yeong’s imperfect vocals are the perfect tonic for their sugary jangle, on their brief yet vibrant songs. With songs about white jeans, dental hygiene, 90s television and being and ex-teenager, the outfit don’t lack for youthful exuberance. Teen Angst sing sad songs about the great indoors and should be one of your favourite local bands.
The Beths may have all met at University of Auckland where they were studying jazz, but it didn’t take too long for them to turn their hands to the indie rock songs of Elizabeth Stokes. Since then, they have released and EP and a critically acclaimed album. It was evident from the opening number that The Beths have quickly become a road hardened unit with Future Me Hates Me getting a rousing and energetic showing. Fuzzed out guitars and a tight rhythm section ensured that these songs were going to fare even better than their recorded versions, as the band were in top gear from the get go.
Such was the band’s confidence that they introduced a brand new song (Not Getting Excited) into the set early. While the hook may not have been as prominent as some of their older tunes, the bespectacled Jonathan Pearce found space to show off his prowess with a lengthy guitar solo. Whatever was an impeccable slice of college radio rock, with all members of the band providing crisp backing vocals over Stokes’ chugging guitar. Tristan Deck is the latest member of the band, not having been there for the recording of the album. His offering to the band can’t be overstated with his bright drumming being a given, but it is his backing vocals that are on point and give the songs the extra lift they deserve.
The band lost none of their sly humour in delivering most of the tunes from the album. Stokes voice may have been flat on occasion, but it was of little consequence thanks to her ardent delivery and the band’s muscular guitar sound. When unearthing Idea/Intent from their EP, The Beths revisited punk roots without foregoing any of their hooks. If the band were to have any misstep for the night, it came in the form of a pretty flaccid take on the Crowded House song Fall At Your Feet. The punters didn’t appear to mind, but the four minutes could have been better spent.
The crowd then joined in with handclaps for the chugging power pop of You Wouldn’t Like Me, that played to the band’s strengths, before the frenetic Uptown Girl ended the set. The band returned with no fanfare for an encore of Little Death that captured all of the light and shade of The Beths. Stokes declared that the band would be staying around for a few days as they were keen to visit with the quokkas. With a new album soon to be recorded, hopefully the next tour won’t be so tricky to book. The Beths are a guaranteed fun night out.
Photos by Linda Dunjey