One of the more unexpected and delightful career revivals of late has been the re-emergence of Geoff Barrow, returning from years in the wilderness, pretending to be Oscar the Grouch and scowling through Mark Ronson’s living room window.
First there was Portishead’s astounding Third, a record I think we all thought would sound like a poor retread of Dummy, but which instead sounded like the album of 2008. An album, remarkably, that was worth that ten year wait.
Then he produced The Horrors’ Primary Colours (recorded about 30 seconds away from my house, fact fans), drenching it in a fug of sonic dread and despair – and turning a hyped, but underachieving, band into one of this year’s most exciting in the process.
And now he’s started a new band. Beak> sound pretty different to Portishead, but there’s definitely some connections with the sonic palettes of Third and Primary Colours. There’s a little Joy Division in there, and a lot of NEU! and Silver Apples. ‘Backwell’, ‘I Know’ and ‘Iron Acton’ are particularly groovesome, while ‘Ham Green’ takes a weird sludge-rock approach.
Most of album, pithilly named "Recordings 05/01/09 > 17/01/09”, can be streamed for free at www.beak.bandcamp.com, or you can buy it from Barrow’s own Invada Records. And you should.
4 weeks ago