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Handsome Western States

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Album Review

Beulah is a Californian band. It's as simple as that. Miles Kurosky writes endearing pop songs that are cynical, bittersweet, or both, and there's nothing surf-rock about it. He and bandmate Bill Swan add a mean brass arrangement to their dual guitar work on their debut album, Handsome Western States. Beulah's crafty indie rock sound isn't as lo-fi as many make it out to be and while Kurosky's a big fan of Pavement, Handsome Western States is filled with a different kind of soul and a great big heart. From the lazy shimmy of "I Love John, She Loves Paul" to the punky good time of "Disco: The Secretaries Blues" and the countrified lament "Queen of the Populists," Handsome Western States is a solid introduction to Beulah's warm pop style. Reflecting upon teenage love is always memorable, and Beulah makes some of the confusion of those days seem OK. Handsome Western States is a sunburst of good music and as songwriters, the members of Beulah are onto something good. As musicians, they're a touch mediocre but that's not necessarily bad, either. They may be beginners in the studio; however, Handsome Western States is a great place to start.

Customer Reviews

First album from best band ever

It wouldn't be an overstatement to say that Beulah is the best band ever. They are absolutely perfect in every aspect. However, their style now (I refuse to believe they broke up) is very different from their earlier style. Here we have Elephant 6ish rock, with touches of pop and punk. Every song is crazily catchy and lo-fi, although they tend to blend together a little. Still, a very much worthwhile album that will get stuck on repeat for months.

Great CD but...

If you are new to beulah pick up 'The Coast Is Never Clear' or 'Yoko' but this cd is amazing if you are a fan of beulah all ready i definitly suggest this little nugget of musical amazement.

their best

i really think that this is beulah at the top of their game, in the coast is never clear, theres a bit too much horn and not enough energy here, everything is in perfect balance i'd say this is a good album for an introduction to the unbelievable beulah


Formed: 1996 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Beulah's Miles Kurosky and Bill Swan first started off as officemates, working the mail room at a security firm in their native San Francisco in 1994. While having a small dislike for one another, Kurosky and Swan did share a fondness for music. They two put their animosity aside in 1996 and spent the next year and a half mastering a lo-fi, indie rock style and recording songs. This resulted in the release of the A Small Cattle Drive in a Snow Storm 7" in 1997. Anne Mellinger joined the group in...
Full Bio

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