The Bevis Frond
What Did For the Dinosaurs
Woronzow / Rubric
The prolific Bevis Frond make their comeback less than a year after their farewell album, the brilliant Valedictory Songs. A good thing, that, because we certainly need bands like these around, The Bevis Frond being one of the finest purveyors of nu-psychedelic post-Bob Mould rock (not that there’s much of a competition to speak of). But while the lyrics follow the farewell concept of their last album — Nick Saloman’s honest and irony-free reflections on age, fame and fears, superbly tracing the public perception of himself — the music is, sadly, far less impressive this time around.
Too often Saloman falls prey to his own instrumental indulgences and his peculiar ways of moving around a melody. Saloman seems unable to restrain himself and repeats every idea, every phrase over and over again, overexposing everything until the music loses momentum and excitement, and becomes predictable and formulaic. The two-part grammatically challenged title track is a particular case in point, with its nestling in very dubious psychedelic jam territory.
There are definitely some great moments on here — “The Wrong Side,” “Splitting Clingfilm,” “Our Number” and “Down To Earth” are all amazing tracks — but at eighteen songs and close to 80 minutes playing time, the album overstays its welcome by far and offers a few too many sub-standard moments. There’s a great album in here somewhere, and heavy programming of your CD player can help bring it out, but this is still something of a disappointment from this often great and unjustly ignored band.
Rubric Records: http://www.rubricrecords.com