Yula Be’eri always seemed like a standout talent that never quite got the credit she deserved, but I guess that is what happens when you are a member of a band with as many members as however many people make World/Inferno Friendship Society these days. I’m not positive if they are still a group, but NaNuchKa is (or was?) Be’eri’s “other” group (though she is now a sometimes member of Star Fucking Hipsters and full time member of Yula Be’eri and the Extended Family).
2006’s A Carefully Planned Accident is the three-piece’s sole full-length and it opens with the surf rock song “Red” with Be’eri singing great lines like “Life is easier to swallow / When feeding on love.”I
The following song, “Anyway,” utilizes some nice piano accompaniment. The track with the lengthiest title, “The Tale of the Little Felafel Girl and Her Only Love,” also happens to be my least favorite song--a love song for Be’eri’s boots. The song has a nice beat and some good guitar work, but this obsession with footwear that seems to run in the W/IFS family--what with Vox Inferne’s “Instanbul, Drowned Blue Shoes”--doesn’t make for particularly compelling lyrics. Following is “One of Us,” which starts off as a mellow song with some strongly paced drumming as things slowly build up and NaNuchKa has another completely danceable song that also works equally well for sitting alone on a couch listening habits.
Things become very quiet and slow with the heartfelt “The Promise” before they slowly become slightly louder and louder and a little more danceable, though never fully dropping the original quiet, melancholy feeling and sound the song started off with. A steady beat starts off “Seven,” in which things get a little bit of a cabaret sound as the lyrics turn into a love song. “Captain Sensible Calling,” like “Red,” is a re-recording of a song originally on NaNuchKa’s split with fellow Infernite Franz Nicolay’s Guignol, Drink the Best Wine First, and the biggest difference in this version is the lack of Jack Terricloth’s guest vocals. The song, which contains the lines “Our lord tells us to drink the best wine / Drink the best wine first / He is the god of love every night / And for us what is there not to love?” has the World/Inferno specific enjoy-your-life-while-also-stating-things-like-“The banker dies alone” attitude that only a member of that band could pull off in such a way.
Be’eri’s vocals, slightly high pitched, burst right out of the gate on “Good Well” and some strong bass work allows for another very danceable, fun song, though it contains lines like “I’m scared to have regrets myself and never let them out.” Things begin minimally with no drums on “Sigh” as Be’eri ponders an abusive relationship. Spirits don’t improve much on “Wonderfu,l” though the music is a little less minimalistic and slightly poppy and the chorus does tell someone “You are wonderful,” though the context makes it sound more like a plea to realize such a statement than an upbeat statement about enjoying someone’s friendship. Things close out with “Red Ripped Shirt”, though the dark musical tone lyrical delivery is the true strength, especially as the song ends, the music leaves and Be’eri weakly delivers the chorus one final time.
The quieter songs on A Carefully Planned Accident have perfect emotion and the majority of the songs have an infectious beat accompanied by great lyrics that often share a philosophy on life. Though the lyrics of others take a view on love that tends to fall somewhere between disdain for fallen relationships and yearning for the past. While, as I’ve stated, I am a bit underwhelmed by the lyrics about boots, the majority of the album is strong. The songs are musically simpler than World/Inferno songs--after all, they are a three-piece--but there is still an eccentricity to their sound and an attitude of living for today and not worrying about having it all which can probably be summed up by the opening lines of “Anyway”: “When I was just a little one my momma used to tell me / ‘Don’t lose your head / You’ll get there / Life is hard, but not unfair’.”