This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
I have never been able to figure out if this genre-busting Scottish outfit took their name from the obsolete VCR format or the untested, cutting-edge software designation. Either way, it suits ’em.
Through a handful of EPs and now a pair of superbly left-field albums, these guys have somehow continued to be nostalgic, contemporary and slightly ahead of their time — all at the same time. Hot Shots II more or less picks up where their 1999 self-titled debut left off, with the freewheeling foursome blazing a twisted trail back and forth across musical eras and styles. Druggy trip-hop, chilly Kraftwerky Kraut rock, Pink Floydian psychedelia; they’re all here and more — often vying for attention in the same song. Imagine a slightly poppier version of Radiohead’s Kid A or Amnesiac and you’re in the same area code — which makes it all the more fitting that the Beta boys are opening for Thom Yorke and co. on their upcoming North American tour. Maybe he can sort out where they got their name.