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BEATGLIDER – Witches (CD, Enraptured Records)

Posted: November 18th, 2008, by JGRAM

From time to time these days you will discover (rediscover) a band is still playing well after you had figured them to be long gone.  My favourite example of this is Trumans Water who seem to appear every couple of years with a new record, doing a random show in town to celebrate and promote the fact happily acting as a timely reminder of how things can otherwise be.

As a similar example of this, today I find myself holding the new album by Beatglider, a band from Southend that was once almost part of a burgeoning lo-fi/post rock scene in Essex that was never allowed to get started (for various reasons).

Striding the fine line between post rock and shoegazing, this is an epic construction towering over twelve tracks that cohesively combine to make a sedate sonic elevation.

At a time when the (supposed) genre of post rock has mutated off in one direction to resemble the cuddly Sigor Ros and in another path the nastiness of Mogwai still prevails in the other version, there is distinctly still an audience looking to relish in such evocative and courteous expansive recordings.  Perhaps this is the standing strong of the prog rock gene.

There are many influential sounds on show here.  The more oblique of Lush’s output can be heard on “The Rattlesnake” while the occasional dipping in of vocals reminiscent of Syd Barratt give proceedings a slightly spooky tone (“Wasteful Is Love”).  There are also many true moments of naïve glee echoing the meanderings and conclusions of Flaming Lips at their most stirring (in the form of closer “Natures Arms”).  And “Where Time Stands Still” sounds like a cross between Snow Patrol and spaced out Pavement.

The highlight comes in “Wild Night” where an astute arsenal of instruments come together to echo all Chemikal Underground’s best hits squeezed into one composition.  Suddenly Southend begins to feel/sound strangely Scottish.

This record represents victory.

Thesaurus moment: bespelled.


Enraptured Records


JGram, friend of the stars, chartered accountant and pie enthusiast, likes nothing better than KICKING YOUR SKINNY ASS by way of a carefully-timed half-nelson followed by the CLOTHES LINE! OW! So never, never cross him. His dog Snowy is equally rockhard and will bite your lim bs off in the blink of an eye. And then paw your eyes out for blinking when he's biting you.

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