Okay… gonna choose my words carefully here because for some reason I feel like our review for the first Beak> record was *slightly* misinterpreted by Geoff Barrow (yo Geoff… we like the record!!). 7 years have passed since Barrow & co.’s stirring second album, and we were just starting to get restless before those lush represses of Beak> and >> touched down last week. Fittingly, they’ve signed to Temporary Residence (home of William Basinski, Mogwai and Mono) in North America and are finally releasing a follow-up to >> (titled >>>, natch). “Brean Down” features a more confident Barrow than we’ve ever heard him before as a singer - the vocals are way up in the mix, and they’ve even been tamed into something resembling a traditional verse-chorus structure. Paired with a characteristically sparse arrangement of shrieking guitar, doomsday bassline and Barrow’s militant drum kit, there’s no indication that Beak> have abandoned their mission to make the perfect modern krautrock record. But where Can cut the sinister atmosphere of Ege Bamyasi with just enough playfulness to still be enjoyed whilst on drugs, Beak> are quite simply preparing us for the apocalypse. Lead single “Allé Sauvage” is total cosmic dread, with Will Young’s coarse synth arps and the rhythm section of Barrow and Billy Fuller slowly conjuring a mushroom cloud of sound that’s just as tense and cinematic as any of their recent soundtrack work. Even the album cover (full color!) depicts a hazmat-suited Barrow leaning out of the fallout shelter to tell Fuller and Young “come on, let's go” (just our interpretation). Who knows, after the world ends and the dust settles, this could be a pop record. Recommended.
- black vinyl pressing
- music label: Temporary Residence Limited 2018
reviewed by carparts, bottles & cutlery 05/2018