It’s impossible to dislike the Beladeans' latest album

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The Beladeans (Neptoon)

If you’ll pardon the visual, the Beladeans play from the groin. Which counts for something these days, now that Destroyer’s Kaputt has asked for (and gotten) a degree of amnesty for sophisticated and sexually inert midnight horn sections. Over in dirtbag land, meanwhile, Melissa Lee (sax) and Stephen Graf (trumpet) bring exclamatory skronk and raunch to the Beladeans, a frat-rockin’ four-piece from Surrey with its collective head way up the Pacific Northwest of the ’60s. The band’s second album in seven years is completely criticism-proof, given that it traffics in a genre that really only asks for a decent balance of energy and skill. Do the Beladeans pull it off? Of course they do, especially on the more tightly wound grooves of instrumentals “1000 Mile House” and “Mysteries of the East”. On “Broke Down and Busted”, guitarist-vocalist Mike Guild comes up with a damn-near-perfect manifesto for the band when he growls, “It’s like a heart attack, and dynamite, it’s like a Friday and a Saturday night.” There you go: your whole sweaty weekend in one 26-minute record! Their cover of the Bar-Kays’ “Soul Finger” might raise an eyebrow or two, but it’s not like the Beladeans are pretending to be anything other than white Canadian punks, especially when they follow with a bare-knuckle throwaway called “Hot Knife Woman” that probably wouldn’t hold together if it were longer than two minutes. It’s impossible to dislike this stuff, unless you’re saddled with good taste or something.

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