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Beat Union - Disconnected (Cover Artwork)

Beat Union

Beat Union: DisconnectedDisconnected (2008)
Science

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: AllonAllon
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Birmingham, England's Beat Union already have almost all the right ingredients needed to help them make a name for themselves in the US: an already completed tour with reggae stars Bedouin Soundclash and Westbound Train; a spot on this summer's Warped Tour that's gonna take them around the country a.
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Birmingham, England's Beat Union already have almost all the right ingredients needed to help them make a name for themselves in the US: an already completed tour with reggae stars Bedouin Soundclash and Westbound Train; a spot on this summer's Warped Tour that's gonna take them around the country all summer; full-page ads in magazines like Alternative Press; endorsement from Hurley; and notable producer John Feldmann signing on to help make their debut album shine with a coat of poppy goodness. After seeing Beat Union at the Stone Pony on the aforementioned tour back in January, judging by their live show I really thought the band had the chance to be huge in the states. With big dance beats, a few sing-along "whoa"s and another bass player who just can't seem to keep his feet on the ground for a second, it seemed like they had a formula down pat and were ready to put it into action across the sea. I was really hoping that all the excitement they made on stage would be captured well on their record, Disconnected. But after four months of waiting for it to finally drop, I can say that I'm a little underwhelmed.

To best describe Beat Union would be a good combination of already established Brits like Elvis Costello, the Jam and the English Beat, mixed lyrically with the abundant emo/pop-punk jive around today. John Feldmann (who pretty much did everything involving the making this record aside from actually playing the instruments) also jumps in and glosses up the album pretty well to make it blend in atmospherically with the Union's power-pop peers.

While none of the tracks are necessarily bad, they fail to bring much to the table as far as staying power. The effort is there, but the hooks that the genre is so dependent on are often weak at best. While songs like "My Heart Starts Beating" and "Stay on the Line" are pretty infectious, after a few listens they already begin to lose their flavor. But I don't want to take away from the talent the band clearly has. They play very tight and bop around the course of a lengthy near-40 minutes with a lot of energy. While the choruses may not be so catchy, the big beats on tracks like "Pressure Zone" and "She Is the Gun" provide enough enjoyment to not bring the record down too much. Another highlight are the few guitar leads that accompany songs like "Don't Have Love" (easily one of the album's better pieces) and the feverish drum beat that keeps "She Is the Gun" pulling along. But by the middle of the record some of the momentum gets lost and it then begins to dip down into mediocrity. It recovers here and there, but still doesn't equal what the first half brought.

But I think that even with all the energy that the album has, the recording still sadly comes off rather generic and played out. Beat Union is certainly not reinventing anything, more just paying tribute to it. Instead of bringing something different to the table, Disconnected sits itself down with a plate of recycled sounds that appeal to you in person, but not as much in the studio.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Xine (May 29, 2008)

I was also blown away by Beat Union when I saw them this January. I saw them twice in January, twice in February and once in March. They have a great stage presence and put on a great live show.

I like the album but like the reviewer, I was slightly disappointed. I mean, they rock the house live and I just feel like the album is a major slow-down and change of pace.

Great guys, great band but the execution could have been better.

minorkaty (May 27, 2008)

I was totally blown away when I saw them open for Bedouin Soundclash and Westbound Train. BLOWN away.

The album wasn't QUITE as amazing as I'd hoped it would be, but there's enough tracks on there that I absolutely love and can't get ouf of my head that it was worth it... Pressure Zone, Calling, and She Is The Gun are easily my favorites.

nocigar (May 27, 2008)

I saw them support Bedouin Soundclash and Westbound Train. They weren't bad, but the other two bands were so good I forgot all about them.

pricey123 (May 27, 2008)

trying to remember who i saw them support. i think it was living end. they were good though.

fattony (May 27, 2008)

Solid live band. I can see myself giving this album a few spins on some of the sunnier summer days, but I probably won't remember it a year from now.

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