The band Best Bets drops a post punk gem

Formerly Transistors, New Zealand band Best Bets releases a killer post-punk debut

Rock can still be fun after all

Ahhh remember when rock and roll was still a good time?! We’re so brooding now, so socially serious. Always ironic. How about three or four chords that just make you bump the volume to max and drum the steering wheel? With their April debut On An Unhistoric Night, the band Best Bets deliver a kind of Sloan tribute to the Ramones.

Formerly Transistors, now the band Best Bets

Founders Olly Crawford-Ellis (drums) and James Harding (guitar) spent a decade as New Zealand’s Transistors before re-forming as the band Best Bets. The Christchurch luminaries released 2020’s Life Under the Big Top EP. As the band Best Bets, it’s now a family affair with Harding’s brother, Luke Harding.

Crawford-Ellis and Harding have pedigree, and now a new lineup. So just for a second, imagine when they take the stage for Unhistoric Night. Best Bets break out “Wrong Side of the Sun,” the HOO HOO’S! start to peg the meter — and the kids go absolutely coconuts.

Now, does every minute of Unhistoric Night hit that kind of arena standard? Alack and alas, a couple of the twelve cuts do get a little same-y. But there are so many more hits than misses! Here is Best Bets’ much crunchier, second single for Unhistoric Night, released last December, “Whataworld.”

The band Best Bets concludes album like The Replacements

Best Bets wrap Unhistoric Night with a bit of a Replacements-like closer, “That Movie Never Got Made.” Something of a nod to “Here Comes a Regular.”

Spend $10 or $12 with Unhistoric Night and remind yourself that music can still be fun. Because if you don’t love Best Bets, do you really love rock and roll?

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