Just in case you're one of those people (like me) who enjoyed the hell out of the Beta Band's two 1999 releases (The Three EPs and their technical debut Self-Titled release), you can find at least some solice in this EP by member Steve Mason until their next full length drops. Although the group released a short single earlier this year ("Sequencer / To You Alone"), they're currently working on their true follow-up for release in the next year. Singer (and musician) Mason has been even busier, though, and this No Style EP contains 8 tracks that capture some of the spirit of the band, as well as taking off in some new directions.
This domestic release is actually a compilation of two different 4-song EPs that were released on the Regal label, so it's actually even a better deal for those in the US looking to get the music at a more reasonable price. The main thing that's actually familiar about the sound of tracks (besides some that have a similar musical sound) is the very recognizable, laid-back vocal approach of Mason.
It's the opening track of the disc that actually sounds the most like the Beta Band with it's sloppy hip-hop type beat and all kinds of goofy sound effects like cowbells and a touch of guitars. Vocals drift over the entire song until they culminate in a sing-along chorus and it also makes for one of the best tracks on the disc. After a short instrumental track, the dreamy song "I Love You" drops with a thick beat and all kinds of shimmering guitar and chiming effects.
Mason even throws some drum and bass beats into the release on the track "Fatheriver." It's a strange juxtaposition with his spaced-out vocals drifting over the snappy beats, but it actually works a lot better than you might think it does. The album them closes out with a nice instrumental, the less effective droning of "Little White" and the very Ween-esque closer of "Eye O' The Dug." Basically, if you like the Beta Band, this is a nice collection of songs by a major member and it's something that works well most of the time anyway.