Music Reviews
The Besnard Lakes

The Besnard Lakes

The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night


I think this counts as “Important Music.” Why so? Well, a number of subtle indicators lead you in that direction, beginning with the eight-page press kit that comes with the disc. The operatic vocals, the complex, building guitar work, the overwrought lyrics that confront you on the opening track – why, it’s almost as good as rock opera, and we don’t even have an overture to deal with. Weird little screechy noises fill the air; it’s as if 2001’s Music of the Spheres and Satan have come home to roost. A male vocalist holds forth in tight pants a falsetto, as a scratchy radio pleads for – for help? For navigation? For a pizza, hold the anchovies? This signal has faded, and the Besnard Lakes have loosed their drummer and his operatic vocals: “You’re like the ocean, ooh, you lack the innocence, what’s in your empty eyes?” Soon an evening’s calm descends; the screechy noisy things have settled in to a circadian party of late night summer humidity. Guitars march around, strutting like bantam roosters passed through a fuzz pedal. Vocals harmonize with themselves, drums slowly pound a cadence suitable for a kilted tattoo, and the singer continues with a thin, processed effect mimicking the sound of a distant shortwave station shimmering in the ionosphere. Yes, this IS Important Music, made by Important Artists for Important Listeners. Listener, that could include YOU, if you’re feeling a little out of sorts and have a few bucks to cheer yourself up. Come on, FEEL important, BE important, LISTEN important. It’s your right.

Besnard Lakes:

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