The mighty Beak> – made up of Billy Fuller, Will Young, and Geoff Barrow of that band fame – return with their most claustrophobic album yet, chock full of the krautrock grooves, meandering structures and off-kilter melodies that fans of the band have come to expect from them. Having knocked it out of the park with their ‘Sex Music’ single earlier this year, >>> carries on in the same subtle, bass-led vein.
The trio flirt with chaos throughout the album, pushing each instrument through layers of distortion and reverb to the brink of recognisability, and the countless eerie squeaks, sci-fi synths and fucked-with-strings only add to its otherworldly nature. >>> is as mesmerising as it is uneasy, teetering on a tightrope stretched between soft, winding compositions and edgy, no nonsense heft.
Pretty much every song is a highlight. ‘Birthday Suit’ is devastating, all fluttering synths, lo-fi vocals and heartbreak, while ‘Allé Sauvage’ is a dangerously danceable seven-and-a-half-minuter, with blips galore and razor sharp hi-hats driving the song along nicely. ‘RSI’ is a motoric gem. Scratch that – Beak> are a motoric gem.
But ‘When We Fall’ is on another level entirely. First released under the band’s Like easy listening music thrown off a cliff and pieced back together again, >>> is a Frankenstein’s monster of atmosphere, griminess, groove and space. Transcendent.
STAFF COMMENTSJavi says:
You’d be right to judge >>> by its brilliant cover because it’s a brilliant album, and one that’s likely to win 2018 for me. Buy it / play it / love it.
1. The Brazilian
2. Brean Down
3. Birthday Suit
5. Allé Sauvage
7. King Of The Castle
9. Abbots Leigh
10. When We Fall