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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Beru Revue - Be Careful Tonight

Name: Beru Revue
Album: Be Careful Tonight
Year: 1984
Style: Live, New Wave, Pop Rock
Similar Bands: Men At Work, A's, English Beat, Planets, Buzzcocks
"One-Word" Review: straightup-catchy-power-rock.
Based Out Of: Philadelphia, PA
Label: Straight Face Records
Be Careful Tonight - Cover, Alternative Cover 1, Sleeve
Be Careful Tonight - Back, Alternative Cover 2, Sleeve Notes
Be Careful Tonight - Record

Be Careful Tonight (1984)
  1. Be Careful Tonigt 5:35
  2. Casio 4:19
  3. Only One 4:08
  4. Trouble 4:20 /
  5. Poem / Let's Pretend / King Of England 7:19
  6. I Got A Job 4:22
  7. Hoods A Go-Go 4:37
Album Rating (1-10): 8.5

Members & Other Bands:
Bob Beru - Vox, Domestic Cover Editor (Angry Young Judges, BeruHaHa)
Buzz Barkley - Keys, VOx (Secret Kids, Angry Young Judges)
Greg Davis - Guitar, Vox (Angry Young Judges BeruHaHa)
Jerry Healy - Guitar, Vox (Secret Kids, Angry Young Judges, Windmill, Alan Mann Band)
Tom Pinto - Drums (Angry Young Judges)
Johnny Sacks - Bass, Taurus Pedals, Liner Notes, Domestic Cover Editor (Secret Kids, Angry Young Judges)
Kimmy & Mickey - The Berettes
John Harris - Producer, Engineer, Mixed
Bruce Macomber - Engineer, Mixed
Bob Evans - Live Production Crew
Jim McNulty - Live Production Crew
Geroge Pierson - Live Production Crew
Mark Van Tassel - Live Production Crew
Brian Skinner - Live Production Crew
Tom Lee & Debbie "Killer Wellsby - Moose Mobile Crew
Ruth Leitman - Photos
T Bone- Graffiti
Nick Norris - Liner Notes
John Chambless - Contributing Editor Domestic Cover
Lewis & Lewis - Layour Domestic Cover
John Fairman Kanes - Import Poster Photo
Rick Miller - Layour Import Cover

Unknown-ness: I did not know these guys. But I bought the record because of the interesting newspaper layout design of the cover. And their name has revue in it, so I was hoping that part of their shtick would be some kind of interesting, entertaining music beyond some typical guitar, bass & drums format. With all the time put into the layout, incorporating the songs into the “headlines” etc. they might just be quirky in their music, and deliver something I could really like.

Album Review: This Live album captures the Philly based Beru Revue, at their most accessible point: on the stage. Their costume changing antics could not be captured on record, but an incarnation of the band still performs, and is writing new material. This live album starts off with the namesake track “Be Careful Tonight.” It features rocking guitars and a fun bouncy bass. The vocals seem to have a rough accent, part British, and part Men At Work, and are somewhere in between talking and singing. The music is bombastic glam in the secondary chorus. The applause is kept in the song, but it is faded out, so the listener knows when one track starts and one stops. The applause fades back into a catchy bouncy bass on “Casio” and the song follows suit with slightly disjointed guitar work. The vocals remind me heavily of English Beat and with the music like transitional XTC. The verse itself is very catchy, and it constantly builds very well into the chorus. This is live, so there is what sounds like a call and response section that the crowd does not bite on between the main and back up vocals. Whistles and cheers fade out and in, and “Only One” begins as a straight up power rock song. The vocals are nasally and on edge, reminding me of the Talking Heads, or Weird Al parodying Huey Lewis. The vocal style also reminds me of Adam Ant in this song, specifically. “Trouble” is on next, with a siren wail guitar played over power pop music. The vocals are the same as on the opening track’s talk/sung mix, with that Colin Hay singing accent. He incorporates the lyrics from Music Man’s song about trouble too. There are lots of heavy metal guitar sections that relaxes into the siren repetition when not soloing. The make-up of the song is very simple, catchy three chord punk in nature.

Side 2 starts off with the medley of “Poem / Let's Pretend / King Of England.” The beginning is mainly spoken poetry with theatrical presentation over a rhythm guitar and audience cheer. Then the song abruptly transitions into incredibly catchy section of Let’s Pretend. It is very over the top and rollicking, kinda like the Buzzcocks. And the energy does not decrease when they enter the King of England section. The guitars are full of energy, and the bass is spot on jerky. The vocals are like a more polite version of the Sex Pistols. “I Got a Job” starts off with the audience introducing the song in preordained chant. The song is a catchy Buzzcocks paced song again. Everything about the song is tight and full of hooks. The lead guitar is not over used, and the bass keeps everything bouncing along and is full of snotty, angsty, in-your-face attitude. The slow organ tinged breakdown at the end dips a big toe into gospel. A rolling, repetitive guitar starts off their “hit” “Hoods A Go-Go.” That is followed up with pinpoint keyboard blipping. And the sing song vocals begin. I can’t think of what song this sounds like, but it probably came after this one. It feels very similar to the style of I Got A Job, but it is not as clean of a song, it had tempo breaks and is not as cohesive as I’ve Got A Job. The chorus builds in momentum from the slow verse, but there is not much of a climax, its just a chanting, brit-angsty plateau.

Stand Out Track: Casio

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