Beak> sound like the unwanted lovechild of Krautrock and post-punk. You can see they’ve got the glazed eyes of the former motorik genre, yet they’ve got an impulsive attitude and mumble at their feet like the latter, late 70’s outfits.
The group (who include Geoff Barrow) recorded this sophomore album live on a rainy Bristol afternoon. This time round they’ve dropped in more synths to keep things progressing; check the wavering and unapologetic opener The Gaul as the keys are caught bending pitches like a perished cassette, and hear the drumkit’s hi-hat opening within the rhythm’s looping pattern of nervous disorder.
The Can comparisons kick in on Yatton, with its staccato synth-line and motored beat. The vocal sounds like a lost line from a Joy Division track, a cold yet melodic centre for a track I could listen to all day long.
As an album this feels impulsive. Spinning Top, another favourite, allows the drums to almost mis-step in their falling fills, but why re-record when such moments remind you that this is a group working off each other, rather than with a click track behind a glass screen.
The arrival of Wulfstan II , with its monster, acid-soaked 60’s guitar sound, crashes into a few extra bandwidths. The repetitive nature of the simple riff becomes like a an addictive form of torture; you can almost sense the group smirking as they fade out, only to fire out the riff once more at the six minute mark.
Beak> clearly know their music, yet they’re not here to replicate, reproduce or re-enact. This is a band doing it their way, and you can hear that all over this record – hence it’s very good indeed.