Beatnik Filmstars typically get compared to American indie bands like Guided By Voices, Archers of Loaf, and Pavement -- which makes sense, given the band's angular, lo-fi style. The difference is that the Filmstars are even more lo-fi than Guided By Voices or the bulk of Pavement's work -- the closest sound comparison would be Westing (By Musket and Sextant), Pavement's early collection of home recordings. Thankfully, the Filmstars have enough melodic sensibilities (and enough flair for Beat-style sixties pop) to make their sound work. The sound itself -- which features some of the most distorted, indistinct vocals in recent history -- will doubtlessly turn a lot of listeners off, but those who fell in love with the scratchy early work of Pavement and Archers of Loaf will love this album. And for those who can't handle it, some of the Filmstars' other releases are a tad more straighforward, specifically Laid Back and English and Boss Disque.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Nitsuh Abebe