If the album title, typeface choice, burned-out cover image and inside gatefold depicting industrial urban landscapes give you the impression that this is a drum & bass record, musically you’re pretty far off, but you'd be forgiven for thinking that. Before Bark Psychosis released Codename: Dustsucker in 2004, bandleader Graham Sutton had spent a half-decade producing D&B as Boymerang, lurking on the fringes of the Metalheadz stable with releases on Prototype and even a major label full-length that was pretty solid. But the Bark Psychosis story began well before that, with a string of increasingly refined EPs in the early 90s, eventually culminating in 1994’s Hex full-length. That debut record is a time capsule from when independent music was twisting and turning in all sorts of interesting directions, and Sutton and co.’s particular lightning in a bottle came in the form of 7 moody art-rock hymns that will be narcotic for anyone into late era Talk Talk. Critic Simon Reynolds, in his review, came up with a brand new phrase to describe Hex - post-rock! - and on this completely unexpected 2004 follow-up, Bark Psychosis envision an alternate timeline of how ‘post-rock’ might have unfurled if Sutton hadn’t dissolved the band 10 years prior. Now primarily a solo project aided by a few old bandmates and new musical allies (Talk Talk’s Lee Harris, etc.), Sutton splices together atmospheric vibraphone, found drums, hushed vocal reveries (shared with an array of mysterious female vocalists) and cavernous piano. Moods range from funereal ("Rose") to frigidly beautiful ("The Black Meat," "400 Winters"), from Lynchian jazz ("INQB8R," "Miss Abuse") to shoegaze spiritual ("From What Is Said To When It’s Read"), enlivened by the occasional 303 squelch or dissonant guitar clang to keep it properly weird. Is it really that good? Yes. Well then why have you never heard it? I wish I knew. Nice heavyweight 2LP reissue with glossy gatefold, full-color inners and download code, recommended.
- 180g black double vinyl pressing
- housed in glossy gatefold jacket w/ full color printed inner sleeves
- digital download included
- original release year: 2004
- music label: Fire Records 2018
reviewed by Sexton Slice 12/2022