VHS or Beta Bring on the Comets

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Louisville, KY-based pogo-punk filter-funk group VHS or Beta aims for dream-pop arena rawk. From the first lucent cascade of chunky chords you can imagine guitarist Craig Pfunder at the front of the stage, one foot on the monitor and an arm outstretched toward the back row. Drawing on Daft Punk, Echo and The Bunnymen, Hum, and VoB collaborators My Morning Jacket, this third album's meaty, metronomic world exhibits plenty of tensile and tinsel strength. Whittled down to a poppier trio, having parted ways with founding guitarist Zeke Buck, their affected new new-wave yowls are less overt even as swelling vocals more deftly anchor curling riffs and centrifugal thwacks.