Monday, June 30, 2014
Before Liam Betson was a guitarist in Titus Andronicus for the last two years, he was Liam the Younger, creator of ragged indie folk/rock that served as a medium for Betson's dense and near stream of consciousness lyricism. His work is not unlike that of fellow "Titus Andronicus guitarist gone solo" artist Andrew Cedermark, layering this sense of rusticism into their work that gives their music a more aged feeling which in turn better reflects the weariness contained within them.
However, while Cedermark approached his music with a clear love of The Microphones in his heart, Betson's tunes are more lively, a sort of musical jog through what's on his mind. "The Primordial Will", the latest track from the upcoming The Cover of Hunter, uses rolling guitar jangle and shimmering distortion to drive the track. The track sprawls and sprawls, creating a sense like it could never end, Betson unfurls a tale of self-awareness, of knowing the mistakes one will make in a life, being unable to do anything about them, but still longing to change. Betson is addressing someone else in the song, but it's clear that that he's really talking to himself, trying to figure out and map out the himself the best he can. When "The Primordial Will" finally hits its climax, with a small roar of guitar that is pure catharsis, it is still up in the air whether Betson has succeed or not. But at least he tried, and that might be the most important thing of all.
Liam Betson's Bandcamp
Pre-order The Cover of Hunter here, from Double Double Whammy
Monday, June 9, 2014
The Bilinda Butchers have been making synth-filled dream pop for a while now, putting out several excellent EPs and singles for the past couple of years in the vein of the equally underapprciated Depreciation Guild. However, with the band finally announcing the details of their proper debut album, Heaven, something has changed. At least, it feels that way while listening to "Edo Method". Everything about the track feels ramped up, as if it's a Bilinda Butchers track on hyperdrive. It bursts out of the gate, the drumming massively more kinetic & frantic (thanks to the inclusion of newest member Ryan Wansley), and the guitars richly distorted yet it's riffs ringing out crystal clear. Most sticking maybe Michal Palmer's vocals, which are still soft and warm, but now are no longer buried. Instead, they are front and center on the track, and give the song an added urgency that wouldn't have been there otherwise. With "Edo Method", it seems Bilinda Butchers are taking the energetic burst they picked up on "The Lovers' Suicide!" and decided to crank that energy even higher. Which is wonderful because the band wound up melding power pop to dream pop perfectly, and crafted a truly gorgeous song in the process.
The Bilinda Butchers' Website
Pre-order Heaven here, from Orchid Tapes