In addition to their ability to compose memorable lines of music (and song titles), the members of the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet—Frith, Nick Didkovsky, Mark Stewart and René Lussier—share a passion for exploring the sonic possibilities of the amplified guitar. Indeed, Up Beat is characterized in equal parts by catchy phrases and speaker-shredding sound. Recorded in Europe, live and in the studio during 1997, Up Beat gives each of the members a solo spot along with the close, if discordant, harmony of the quartet. Thereal power of the band is that none of the players seem to have forgotten the fun of plugging in an electric guitar for the first time. When they all pick up on an idea and begin extrapolating —as ln the middle of Stewart’s Manic Speedy Feety —it’s a guitar-lover’s dream come true.