Review of Beak's self-titled album.
Live bands that experiment with electronics. Far from being a new concept, perhaps, yet bands like these have been popping up all over the place over the last decade. Pioneers such as Fridge and Tortoise as well as new blood Battles and Holy Fuck have helped lay wake to a new world of what to the untrained eye would appear to be Jam Bands. Something of a dirty word these days. Well it needn't be. Here we see none other than Geoff Barrow (Portishead) and his cronies put their noggins together and just flow. Written and recorded live in one studio over a 12 day period with no overdubbing or tweaks made.
Form a band for the expression of absolute unabashed creativity. This is music for music sake. Not for the sake of a scene, or a lifestyle. There was a time when we had the most interesting, vibrant and prolific music in the world, when we weren't left listening to Coldplay or Dido when we shopped.
The pace of this record for the most part is slow, mostly instrumental tracks, minimal, you know?! Whereas a lot of artists would not be able to pull of such a record, there is a sense of excitement and energy oozing from each and every instrument. That, and every so often the beat will kick heavier and a fuzz fuelled riff will roar over proceedings.
This album is like a state of consciousness. You there, then you're not. Drifting between thoughts, ideas, dreams. There's something wonderfully indulgent about listening to this record. Not on the bands part, but as a listener. I find myself lost in the simplicity, the complexity and that vast space between.
I know a lot of reviews, shops, etc will dumb this album down to the label Post Rock, and that's a real shame. Cause there's much more than that here. There's a burgeoning excitement for the future twinned with a tip of the cap to the generations of acts that approached music like this every day, in a time where it wouldn't be considered novel for an album to be recorded live, with no overdubs or tweaks. There's something awfully reassuring to know that there are bands out there still working like this.there may be hope after all.