CD Review: Beak> by Beak>

Beak>, a band from Bristol, England, released their self-titled debut CD just this month. The CD will be released in the States in November and it’s an awesome debut. The band is made up of Geoff Barrow (Portishead), Matt Williams (alias Team Brick), and Billy Fuller (Fuzz Against Funk). I decided I would listen to the CD without reading up at all on the background of the band. I didn’t want it to be tainted because the name Beak> intrigued me enough on its own.

I think this CD is quite the dazzler. I like the organ and weird pulses in Backwell. The chanting and bass in Pill are peculiarly affecting and the droning gloom of Dundry Hill really pulled me into the CD as an entire piece. And I feel like the CD is an entire piece – not just songs randomly put together by musicians who want to mess with the listener. There’s a haunted momentum to I Know and Iron Acton that I totally fell for and there’s more weird chanting in Battery Point with guitars frying along. Ham Green‘s pounding use of bass is exquisite. Ears Have Ears brings in more strangeness with unsettling tweeting sounds.

Perhaps describing something as odd does not appeal to you but I like music that tries something different. Every once in a while you want to be challenged pleasantly, right?

Beak> (Ipecac Records)