Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Besnard Lakes: "Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO" (album review)

Over the course of two full length albums and a number of EPs Montreal's The Besnard Lakes have crafted themselves a reputation for delivering soundscapes that range from dreamy to cacophonous.  The band are now back with their third full length, Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO.

The record opens with the hazy dream-like "46 Satires", which is a gathering musical storm by the end.  That's a template that's used again on "At Midnight", a song that begins life as a lovely wafting tune, but ends as a big bombastic number.

The most melodic moment comes on "And Her Eyes Were Painted Gold".  The song is soothing and, dare I say, almost catchy.

That's about as good as it gets though.

I know that The Besnard Lakes are meticulous in their songwriting.  Everything is thought out and deliberate. Unfortunately, that doesn't come across on Until In Excess.  The songs sound so alike, and often glacial, that the album feels formulaic and cookie-cutter.

The guitars try to mount an assault during "Colour Yr Lights In", but give up long before sparking action.  The band sets you adrift on the lazy "The Specter".  "Catalina" is dull and flat, while "Alamogondo" is an overly long and plodding effort.

All in all, Until In Excess lacks the punch of previous Besnard Lakes efforts.  What's more disappointing is that it lacks the imagination and detailed texturing of those works as well.  If you own any of those records, then it would be best to pretend this one never existed.

Best tracks: "And Her Eyes Were Painted Gold", "At Midnight"

Track listing for Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO:
  • 46 Satires
  • And Her Eyes Were Painted Gold
  • People of the Sticks
  • The Specter
  • At Midnight
  • Catalina
  • Colour Yr Lights In
  • Alamogondo

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