Debut full-length from Geoff Barrow's Beak> project, remastered and repressed! Barrow had long bemoaned the gross misinterpretation of Portishead’s music as fondue background music, and by the time he settled down with William Fuller and Matt Williams to record Beak>, he had a lot to get out of his system. The trio’s debut, played live without overdubs over the course of 12 days, is a continuation of the krauty dryness of P-head’s Third from the year before; mostly characterized by driving motorik rhythms, bone-dry basslines and pulsing synth, and at times veers into stoner metal (“Ham Green,” “Dundry HIll”), shoegaze (“Battery Point”) and straight noise (“Barrow Gurney”). They wear their influences on their sleeve, but Beak> totally nail the anything-goes post-psyche of German bands like Neu! and Can. Barrow even steps up to the mic on a few tracks, in the tradition of renowned non-singers Damo Suzuki, Ralf Hütter and Klaus Dinger, furthering the bizarre atmosphere of Beak> with his hushed incantation. Even the simplistic, borderline-ugly cover art is consistent with that of classic krautrock LPs, albeit a post-MS Paint variant. The album has been remastered for vinyl by Josh Bonati, with the welcome addition of 7 minute vinyl-only bonus track “Granby Hill,” a favorite in the band’s live shows. Other highlights: “Pill,” “Blagdon Lake,” “I Know,” “Battery Point” and “Iron Acton”. Reissued by Temporary Residence (>> is available again as well) on double vinyl housed in tip-on gatefold jacket with download code, recommended.
- double vinyl pressing
- includes vinyl-only bonus track
- remastered for vinyl by Josh Bonati
- old-school tip-on gatefold sleeve
- poly-lined inner sleeves
- digital download included
- music label: Temporary Residence 2018
reviewed by carparts, bottles & cutlery 07/2018
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