Last summer, about a year ago, I went to a great concert. Ah, going to concerts. How I miss it. I was right up by the stage while this band ripped through their set. That band was The Beths. If you aren’t familiar, The Beths are what I would call a pop punk band from New Zealand. I mean, they are definitely a band from New Zealand. Whether or not they are pop punk is up for debate. Maybe it’s more indie pop. They certainly seemed to have moved in that direction on their new album. Back last summer, The Beths had only released one album. I wondered how they would do a headline set. They basically played the entirety of the excellent Future Me Hates Me, but they also played us some new songs. Those songs ended up on the album they just released, Jump Rope Gazers.
I will start by saying I do not think that is a good album name and I also don’t like the album’s artwork. Other than that, I don’t really have anything negative to say about Jump Rope Gazers. The Beths haven’t really changed their sound much. Perhaps they’ve gotten a smidge poppier and have more of an indie streak running through them. However, The Beths are still the same band. You can hear so much of Future Me Hates Me on Jump Rope Gazers. And that’s OK! Their debut album was great! It finished in my top-five albums of 2018. An album that sounds like that is clearly right up my alley.
The Beths are good at making energetic poppy music with some edge. Elizabeth Stokes has a solid voice that rides the instruments well. Lyrically, they are a smart band as well. I feel like The Beths have something of a “smart” vibe. They are clever without trying too hard. They also rock. What’s not to like? There is a new drummer on Jump Rope Gazers, but the sound is roughly the same.
I had been listening to the singles on this album for a while, and they are probably my favorite songs on it. It is maybe a step down from Future Me Hates Me, but only because the ceiling isn’t quite as high. The floor is roughly the same. I don’t dislike any song on this album. I also don’t know if I loved any of them. Jump Rope Gazers gets a thumbs up from me, but not a super hearty one. Even so, The Beths remain my favorite indie pop band from New Zealand. Obviously, there’s a lot of competition there.