VHS or Beta 

Before hearing a single synthy beat, you know that a band with a name like VHS or Beta likes the '80s. But once Craig Pfunder's hollow vocals kick in, you might guess wrong about the band's hometown. Although Pfunder's faux British accent evokes Robert Smith and Ian McCulloch, VoB is from Louisville, Kentucky. Pfunder, a guitarist by trade, didn't even start singing until the band's 2004's neo-wave sizzler, Night on Fire. Until then, his band had specialized in highly danceable Euro-house. Though that thumping foundation persists on 2007's Bring on the Comets, an otherworldly undercurrent permeates the album, reinforced by Pfunder's apocalyptic lyrics and song titles such as "The Stars Where We Came From." VoB also gets a little help from some fellow statesmen on Comets. Among other things, members of My Morning Jacket provide a little unexpected steel-guitar twang. It's just too bad that the Southerners aren't on the road together.

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