Unwittingly or not, Howard H. Hamilton III could possibly be Badly Drawn Boy's twin brother. Not only is he prone to diversions into electro/easy-listening he also sports the same hat and beard combination. Hamilton, in the guise of The Busy Signals, appears to be working to a far more reduced recording budget though. Using 4-track technology his DIY ethic is more closely linked to The Experimental Pop Band. He also bears comparisons with Momus; it's quite feasible that many of these recordings could gain the same admiration from a Japanese audience thanks to the whimsical melodies on offer on 'Busy Beats'. Hamilton cleverly employs samples, whether it's girlie backing vocals on 'Freeway' or frail flute interludes on 'Long Funnel', both demonstrate a successful exercise in bringing 60s hippy-psychedelia bang up to date with hip-hop backing. Another fine standout is the excellent 'Low On The Food Chain' where the unlikely worlds of trip-hop and country guitar create two minutes of melancholic wonderment. And yet the fact that many of these tracks last for roughly 2 minutes means there's not much to get one's teeth into on this album and the sickly sweet pop may grate after a while. Nevertheless, on the right day, the charm of this album is undeniable.