Are the Dark Horse
This record came out of nowhere! Delving deep into a heady mixture of Beach Boys meticulousness and Jesus and Mary Chain’s gummy textures, Besnard Lakes feel like a long lost missing link between the two acts we’ve never known to look for. “Disaster” kicks the album off with a late ’60s California-pop-at-dusk vibe where pulsing waves of bass meet swirling vocal harmonies and rounds, creating a pre-lunar lull that’s as inviting as the Pacific Ocean in July. “For Agent 13” comes off much more austere and resolute, like Low if sustained electronic drones were swapped for their standard cavernous silence. The interplay between vocalists Olga Goreas and Jace Lasek compliments the music beautifully. These tracks, along with others like “Because Tonight,” succeed so well because the band keeps an air of mystery about them. All the voices and instrumentation are delicately pliable and able to interweave without upstaging each other.
Where the group begins to lose focus is when droning guitars lead the way and the sound is kept at a constant thrust. “Devastation” sticks out unwieldy thanks to a Black Mountain-esque monster plod. The same goes for “On Bedford and Grand” and its unfortunate debt paid to The Dandy Warhols. These are minor problems, however, on a debut album that shows more promise than bands years into their career. With any luck their next album will be the scariest Beach Boys homage ever committed to tape. I can’t wait.