Sunday, July 20, 2008

From the vaults: The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes are a dark horse

The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes are a dark horse
(Jagjaguwar, 2007)

The release of The Arcade Fire’s debut album woke the world up to the fact that Canada is not all about Celine Dion, Nickleback and Bryan Adams. It seems the quality of these Canadian bands is far from reaching its expiry date.
Its also impressive how incestuous the Canadian scene is. Bands swap members like there’s no tomorrow and the Besnard Lakes are no exception. A super group with members of (or contributions from) Stars, The Dears and Godspeed You Black Emperor, their music has all the elements from these bands too.
Sound-wise they are like an apocalyptic Beach Boys. Think of everyone in the band singing in perfect harmony. Now stretch those songs to seven minutes and add lots of whooshing noises and extended jams.
Its remarkable how this album will take over your senses. Take third track ‘And you Lied to me’ which will transport you to another dimension. The spacey sound and those lovely voices take over your body and give you an inwardly joyous feeling. Few bands can do that ……
Dark Horse is an album of two halves. The first has the core of the post-rock influence, but as you go along the songs become more structured and bring you back down to reality. Cedric’s War is a stand-out, and I know I shouldn’t say this but it does sound like some long lost song from Pet Sounds. Quite a way of closing an album of unconventionally structured songs: with a conventional track!
Can I heap more praise on this album? Let the record speak (in harmony) for itself.

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