Beth In Battle Mode
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Beth In Battle Mode

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"i (heart) music"

If you want a band who'll make you dance without making you feel like you're watching some obnoxious hipsters doing a bad Gang of Four impersonation, Beth In Battle Mode are exactly the band for you. I know that's a really simple way of saying it, but I've spent the last few hours trying to come up with a fancier way of writing about their debut, Technical Know-How, and I haven't gotten anywhere, so simple will have to do.

Besides, it seems wrong to use lots of words to describe a band who go about their business in such a simple, straightforward manner. They're a garage rock band from Toronto, and they're a throwback to the garage bands of the '60s. They sound like three guys rocking out and having a lot of fun doing it, and just happening to come up with great songs in the process. This may not sound particularly descriptive, but one listen to a song like "No Feeling" should show that this captures the band's essence pretty well. The keyboards are bouncy, the guitar riffs are catchy and the drums are propulsive, and it all adds up to make Beth in Battle Mode's debut one amazingly good time.

"UMM (Urban Male Magazine)"

Ed - Vocal and guitar
Dave - drums
Andrew - keyboards

No definite sound other than a modern twist of the '80s - it ranges from hard hitting garage rock to some progressive power pop. It's upfront and fast paced. The trio's second album "Hot Science" is now available.

Toronto (Ontario)

At an intense (read: alcohol consumption) house party, Ed's girlfriend showed up dressed in full goalie equipment (the story doesn't say if it was a Hallowe'en party!) One of the guys blurted out, "Look! It's Beth in battle mode!" Years later, the story still stuck and it naturally (because of its creativity level of course) became the band's name.

They are all power pop fans. (Andrew recenly purchased Two Hours Traffic's album.) Outside of their musical influences, they have learned to play with one another and get naturally comfortable with each other's quirks and styles. They treat their band like a treasured relationship (only with more people in it!) They will work hard at insuring their sound is not limited, contrived. They have a 'no blinders' mentality and constant evolution, in all spheres of their lives, is key.

They've known each other since university but the band didn't officially start until 2005. Ed and Dave opened for Andrew's old band. Then some of their respective bands ended their journey. They jammed together once or twice. They had so much fun they decide to keep the trip going.

They all agree: new places are always a great kick (it's about finding new fans after all!) although Ottawa and Toronto seem to pack venues with good, fun crowds - which is always nice to get the dance floor going!

At 2 a.m., in most cities, you can only find terrible food. So the iron and small hotel room microwave came in handy on a few occasions (flat ironed grilled cheese, anyone?)

Right now, day jobs are paying for the fun they are having with their music. The next step is to JUST play music.

Andrew travels with a vintage organ and keyboards for better sound on stage as opposed to a computer - that's dedication!
Their new album caught the ears of SoundProof Magazine and EYE Weekly. - UMM

"Ottawa Sun"

A night with a 'garage-prog-disco power trio'

by Allan Wigney, Sun Media

Andrew Ennals is at work but can spare a few minutes to talk music.

"I always think I should be much better at promoting my band," the Beth in Battle Mode keyboardist deadpans as he surveys the advertising-agency office that is his daytime environment. "But then, I don't have the budget these guys have."

Fair enough. But Ennals and bandmates Dave Gilgan (drums) and Ed Maher (guitar) are not lacking for ideas. Their likeable CD, Technical Know-How, is chock-full of all manner of melodic musings, delivered with style and humour (the latter manifested in cheeky song titles like Rembrandt Q Einstein and Everyone is in a Band). And the band defines itself as the very latest thing in pop music -- the "garage-prog-disco power trio."

With such snappy ideas, perhaps the budget will follow.

"It's been tricky in terms of getting gigs out of town," Ennals nonetheless says of his Toronto-based combo. "Club owners tend to want something that's a sure thing. There's not much of an infrastructure for what we're doing."

And what the members of Beth in Battle Mode are doing, is crafting original, angular ditties that carry a hint of big-budget predecessors like The Cars as well as smaller-budget types like Television and over-budget artists from Daft Punk to Devo. All very '80s in a sense. But too clever to be dismissed as simply "retro."

"Everyone seems to hear something different in our music, which is good," Ennals says. "At least, I like to think it's a good thing. You see reviews of bands that say, 'They sound like Pavement,' and I always think, 'Well, why don't I just listen to Pavement?' "

- Ottawa Sun, Friday, January 25 -

"Toronto Music Scene"

CD Review: Hot Science

Beth in Battle Mode has become a mandatory part of my Friday night pre-drink playlists, and they’ve really upped the ante (pre-drink count) with their sophomore release, Hot Science. While they maintain consistency with the catchy indie electropop dance music they’ve become synonymous with, they’ve spiced Hot Science up with the explosive addition of heavier synths, darker choruses and a level of energy normally reserved for their live shows.

The catchiness of “Little Known Fact” with the dimensions of “I Want You (Outta Here)” have me swapping my hair straightener for a Bunsen burner, ‘cause if this Science is hot then baby you know I wanna be a part of it!

Vocalist Edward Maher twists and turns his angst-ridden voice while drummer David Gilgan and keyboardist Andrew Ennals bust out volcanic rhythm lines and backups. The guitar work is more integrate, the keys are more dynamic and overall it comes across more cohesive and less experimental (despite the name) than their debut Technical Know-How. Thankfully they have not abandoned their uninhibited love for the 80s (“Oberheim Steamroller”), but they’ve successfully put their own BIBM spin on it.

Hot Science is just a really fun record that shows BIBM have found their niche and sound. While it is poppy overall, tracks like “Secret/Weakness” show a more somber side, while still paying homage to keys and dance rock. If this record was at a rock’n’roll science fair it would definitely win the blue ribbon. Is that what you win in science fairs? Maybe I shouldn’t have dropped physics after tenth grade.

TTTT (out of 5)

April 29, 2009 -

"It's Not The Band I Hate, It's Their Fans"

This local band continues on the course they charted with their intoxicating debut by upping the ante and proving that their ability to write the catchiest songs around was no mere fluke. From the opening guitar and heavily cowbelled opener of I Want You (Outta Here), BIBM gets the party started with a sound that is still steeped in all the wonderment that 80's new age has to offer, but this time turning the rock up just a little bit. While their sense of fun is still intact, there is a definite newfound maturity displayed in songs like You Found A Cause, and the more downtempo Secret/ Weakness which shows that the band is certainly capable of mixing up the vibe from time to time. Still, they shine the brightest when performing keyboard heavy pop songs that contain the hookiest chorus's imaginable. The title track is awesome, boasting a solid key line, a mildly atmospheric bridge, solid backing vocals and Edward Maher's authoritative high pitched near falsetto. Another standout is A Little-Known Fact which is probably the song that comes closest to harnessing the explosive energy that the band is capable of administering on the live stage. Hot Science is a great album that should provide a suitable soundtrack to a party filled Saturday night.

- May 18, 2009

"Two Way Monologues"

The scene last night at Clinton’s was all about the love. I find it’s nearly always this way at CD release shows. No show brings out all your closest friends better than a release show, and playing music to a packed room that largely consists of people who like you personally results in a great atmosphere. Last night marked the release of Technical Know-How, the new album from Beth in Battle Mode.

Beth in Battle Mode is a three-piece with Edward Maher fronting the band on guitar and vocals, David Gilgan -- who spent part of the night dressed as a Daft Punk-style robot -- on drums and Andrew Ennals, playing a huge role in what makes Beth in Battle Mode stick out from countless other bands, on keyboards. They really have a nifty blend of little parts of countless other sounds you’ve heard before, but perhaps never fused in the way that Beth in Battle Mode do it. Great evidence of this is that I was watching the show last night with eight of my closest friends, all of whom like completely different styles of music, and everyone left with nothing but praise for the band.

Having had a chance to spend some time with the album now, on the heels of their set last night, certain tracks like “Rembrandt Q. Einstein,” “No Feeling,” “Everyone is in a Band” and “Slow Jam Zagreb” are definitely emerging as favourites. I’m trying to sum up their sound, but the best I have is part rock, part glam, part Limblifter and part Mika. I don’t really like Mika at all, but in this sense I mean it as a compliment because the reason I don’t like Mika is that I just find it to be a bit much.

“Rembrandt Q. Einstein” opens the album and as soon as the opening riff kicks in I recognized it from Beth In Battle Mode’s Myspace. I think this song has some serious potential to open some eyes about Beth In Battle Mode the combination of the killer rock guitar, infectious chorus and unexpected keyboards would sound great on many indie radio stations around the country. Hell, I know I would play it. Just don’t ask me about why it is called what it is.

It isn’t my choice cut, though -- that prize goes to “No Feeling”. When I woke up this morning, even in the hazy hangover mode that I was in, I started drunkenly attempting to hum the tune. This reminds me of the glory years of the early nineties for glammy alternative Canadian rock bands such as Age of Electric and Limblifter, but the jubilant keyboards provided by Andrew Ennals makes it sound completely fresh. “Fight fire from the president!”

Technical Know-How starts with a fury but might taper off towards the end of the ten tracks. I say might because I’ve heard it twice, so maybe I’ll change my mind in a few weeks. For now it’s how I feel, but what a fury it is. “Everyone is in A Band” comes up third and unleashes the always effective use of handclaps. It was perhaps those very handclaps that were the deciding factor in us taking in the show. Terri heard them on MySpace and voted we go to Clinton’s. I’m happy she did; judging from a look around at the audience last night, we weren’t the only ones feeling this peppy tune. And we even got to hear something I never expected: a wicked cover of “Hung Up” by none other than Madonna.


"Toronto Music Scene"

Beth In Battle Mode is on repeat mode
By Sheena Lyonnais

Like chocolate and gin, I just can’t get enough of Beth in Battle Mode. I listen to their songs almost daily, like a dirty, little secret I hide from my hard rock friends. Maybe it’s the satire they hide behind catchy electronic keys and hooks or the raspy way singer Edward Maher makes you simultaneously want to shake, do something more significant with your life and conduct a scientific experiment.

The trio, including drummer David Gilgan and bassist/keyboardist Andrew Ennals, will be rocking the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern tomorrow night (July 22) for the first time. It may also be their last show of the summer as the band gears up to record the follow up to last year's Technical Know-How.

"Our last album was very much live and very quickly done and quickly conceived and raw and exciting," Maher said. "This one we want to take a bit more time and maybe actually do some overdubs this time. We're trying to make it a different vibe from the last one so it takes a little more preparation. We don't want to regret anything, we want to do it right."

BIBM, named after a photo of Maher's wife Beth in a wicked lacrosse pose printed in the U of T Varsity, are a "goulash" of awesomeness, a stew of wickedness, a mix of dance, electro, indie with a dash of hip hop. Their songs have been played on the Rideau Canal, and no matter what else happens in their career that alone is pretty snazzy.

The new album will be recorded in the fall with producer Mike Kuehn [Born Ruffians] of Sleepytown Sounds who also recorded their last release.

"We've come quite a ways in terms of how we play and generate songs," Ennals said. "One of the biggest changes now is more thought goes into it. From my own perspective, I'm not just playing root bass notes I'm actually playing real proper bass lines. I'm not schooled as a bass player, I'm a keyboard player, so I've had to pick that up and learn that aspect, so I've really come a ways in that regard. As players we know each other better and we've learned to separate and make things a little more layered."

Over the past year, BIBM has been focusing on playing more out of town shows including Ottawa, Montreal, Guelph and Hamilton, putting what they call their "Paleolithic period" behind them.

"We didn't do that at all last year. We played about half of our gigs this year have been out of town. That's something we're trying to do a lot more of," Ennals said.

One of the things that is really empowering about BIBM is how much they value the importance of camaraderie amongst their group.

"At the end of the day the biggest thing for us is that we're all great friends and we're friends outside of the band as well as within the band. It's one of those things where if we had to choose, we would choose the friendship over the band. The whole having fun aspect and any sort of residual success or achievements tie into that more than anything else," Ennals said.

But are they in pursuit of fame, gold, jewels and gems?

"I wouldn't push it out of bed for eating crackers, is that the phrase the kids use?" Gilgan said.

Toronto Music Scene loves BIBM and so will you. Check them out at the Horseshoe on the 22nd or at .

- July 21, 2008 -

"Best of 2007"

i(heart)music's Best Songs of 2007:

"4. Beth In Battle Mode, 'No Feeling'

'No Feeling' is a basically a rip-off of any garage rock song from the '60s that featured organ and "Woah-woah"s, but Beth In Battle Mode do it so well that doesn't really matter. You'd have to be dead or disabled to not want to dance to this song, and even then it's catchy enough it might just be able to raise people from their graves and/or wheelchairs."

"Tyler Wade's 2007 mix tape: Beth In Battle Mode out of Toronto got a nod here for their infectious song "No Feeling". I showed it to a few friends, who fell in love with it and don't understand why it's not available at HMV. Check out the show, buy it there, it's well worth it.

Dan Wolovick's Top 10 Toronto records: #9, Beth in Battle Mode – Technical Know-How: This is a band that thrives by always giving it full-tilt and walking that fine line between incredibly catchy and excess to the point of annoying. Where you stand might depend on your thoughts on the amazing keyboard skills of Andrew Ennals (and the use of keyboards in general) and the Abba-like influences they often draw on. It works well on record, but it completely owns live. If you like your indie music infused with keyboards and choruses that send you bouncing around your pad, check this band out."

Also named one of the best of 2007 on NYC blog Pocketrock: - Various

"National Post"

The Ampersand wanted to introduce readers to the artists playing this year's Canadian Music Week. Unfortunately, it's not easy to find time to interview 300-plus bands. So, we sent out a short questionnaire to everyone so they can speak for themselves.

Here's Andrew Ennals from Beth In Battle Mode

Q. What was the first album you ever bought and do you still listen to it?

A. Fine Young Cannibals' "The Raw & The Cooked", which I have owned on cassette, vinyl and CD, and definitely still listen to. Though not on all three formats at once.

Q. What is your best/worst/wackiest story from your time on tour?

A. The worst thing is always the food; we seem to have a knack for picking the worst restaurant in every town for our pre-show meal. So if you see us coming to your town, please, direct us somewhere good, or make us some spaghetti.

Q. Do you get more groupies than Nickelback? Why or why not?

A. I'm confident that we do not. On the plus side, total strangers don't start Facebook groups about how much they hate us. But we can dream.

Q. Who are your musical influences?

A. I was influenced by Mrs. Steeves, my first piano teacher, while our lead singer Edward learned guitar from a Viva-Tone cassette (with accompanying booklet!) and David's drum style was honed by his love of hitting things in a rhythmic fashion.

Q. CMW will be successful if we....

A. ...give 110%, take it one song at time, do all the little things right, and get a few bounces here and there.

• Beth in Battle Mode play Rancho Relaxo on March 8 at 1 a.m.

- March 7, 2008 -

"SoundProof Magazine"

Beth in Battle Mode
Hot Science


SOUNDS LIKE: An '80s adventure.

WHY/WHY NOT: As soon as I turned on this CD, I immediately pictured a group of guys dressed in ‘80s gear with Devo posters lining the walls. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing; the first song, "I Want You (Outta Here)", on Beth In Battle Mode's second album, Hot Science, is catchy enough to make you want to hear more.

The album continues with that same ‘80s sound, laced with drumbeats and keyboards – all the things you need to make you want to dance the night away. The title track has all these elements, starting off with a keyboard riff similar to something out of "Video Killed The Radio Star".

The thing that stands out most about this Toronto band, however, is singer Edward Maher's voice. The music is reminiscent of that decade, but instead of feeling like the entire band is straight from the past, Maher's voice keeps it present, setting the new indie sound on a retrospect path. I must say, it makes this album pretty interesting.


The album "Hot Science" (as well the debut album "Technical Know-How") are available for digital download at, as well as on iTunes worldwide, and at independent record stores in Toronto.



They sound as large as the latest indie supergroup, but they’re a lean three-man operation. They inspire dancing as much as any laptop duo, but with an energetic live show. They rock loud and raw, but with one guitar, drums and keyboards. They’ve inspired comparisons ranging from The Black Keys to Loverboy and back again, but isn’t it enough to say Beth In Battle Mode are infectious, unpretentious and just plain fun?