četvrtak, 6. prosinca 2012.

The British Expeditionary Force - Chapter Two: Konstellation Neu

Nakon hiberniranja benda Yourcodenameis:Milo Justin Lockey osnovao je novi bend s kojim ove godine ima drugi album.
Elektronika, post-rock, koralni napjevi i elementi klasike umiješani u brzosušeći beton za kažnjavanje lijenih mafijaša.


It must be difficult leaving a band renowned for being a bit different and brilliant at the same time. When Yourcodenameis:Milo announced their hiatus I was shocked and a little upset I must admit, but I was even more so upon hearing vocalist Pull Mullen would be joining The Automatic (I mean, what?!). Luckily for me (and other Milo fans), Justin Lockey went down an all together different route, creating electronica band The British Expeditionary Force and releasing a fantastic debut album in Chapter One: A Long Way From Home via one of my favourite labels right now, Erased Tapes Records.
Its follow up Chapter Two: Konstellation Neu comes a long five years after, and there is always the risk with such a long gap between albums that perhaps the ship has sailed, their musical style is no longer relevant, or more likely: their fans have just forgotten about them and moved on to adore other bands. If that is the case, then it is a damn shame because it’s clear from this album that Lockey (plus his brother and singer Aid Burrows) still have a lot to offer. While opening track ‘Commotion’ is a low key effects laden affair that tips its hat to perhaps Bon Iver, the following track ‘When All Of This Is Done’ has a rip roaring chorus that packs a sort of post-rock punch that instrumental bands take four minutes to find (while here it only takes just over a minute to find it) and I dare not forget the final track, ‘Irons In Fires‘, an epic slow building six minute see out to the album that you can imagine Sigur Rós writing were they more into electronic (than organic) music.
Sadly, if this album is anything to go by, we’ll never get a Yourcodenameis:Milo re-union. Scandinavia may have Múm, Efterklang, Sigur Rós and many others but with Chapter Two: Konstellation Neu it looks like finally, this side of the pond, we have something as good, if not better, to offer in return. - www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/

With a name that’s likely to prove popular with a certain vintage of British gentleman, The British Expeditionary Force have the WWII-related music market, and unwieldy band names crown, all sewn up. The latter is hardly a surprise given that one of the band used to be in really-quite-hard-to-write Yourcodenameis:Milo. With that band on indefinite/permanent hiatus, guitarist Justin Lockey launched The BEF and released the first part of a planned trilogy of albums in 2007 with Chapter One: A Long Way From Home.  Much more experimental than his previous outfit, the record could be filed along with the likes of 65 Days of Static and other electronic/post-rock outfits such as Codes in the Clouds. Four years down the line and The BEF return with Chapter Two: Konstellation Neu, a record that fittingly enough for a band on Erased Tapes mixes electro, post-rock, choral and classic influences to decent effect.
Justin is joined by his brother James and singer Aid Burrows on Chapter Two, the album being recorded in a single room compared to the exchange of music over the internet that formed the first chapter. The positive effects of this move are evident from the start: it’s a generally confident, warm and organic record despite its groundings in electronics and being created by guys with backgrounds in science and physics. The record progresses as a natural piece, so it’s perhaps not ideal to dissect, song by song, something that’s meant to be consumed in one sitting. However, you can hear that things are nicely paced: gentle opener ‘Commotion’ mixes choral vocals with burbling electronics, and fades out and into the calm beginnings of ‘When All Of This Is Done’. That track sparks into life on classic skyscraping post-rock guitars and juddering percussion, but rather than expand out endlessly it benefits from stopping succinctly at around 4 minutes.
Elsewhere, ‘Cogs and Chemicals’ mixes industrial beats with Mark Gardener-esque shoegaze vocals to create something rather wonderful, ‘Konstellation Neu’ is a jittery lullaby with looped stabs of piano and ‘Crack In The Clouds’ is all glitchy and glacial Kid A rhythms. Once this slower section of the record is over, things pick up again with the slow-build then choral explosion of ‘Strange Aftertaste’, again benefitting from packing its epic math-rock into a short running time. Not everything works mind you: ‘Pleasantly Confused’ seems to be aiming for bucolic but ends up being a drab acoustic strum and ‘Where You Go I Will Follow’ and ‘End Music’ come as close to coffee-table indietronica as you get. That’s the danger with records like this: if you hit autopilot and go for “mood” over anything else then the music can sometimes suffer.
So, not an entirely successful record, but Chapter Two improves on part one, and it’s clear that The British Expeditionary Force are a better band than the majority – if not all – of the outfits that Justin Lockey has been involved in before now.  Still a work in progress, but should Chapter Three continue the upward curve then – prog tendencies aside – it’ll be worth listening out for. -

Chapter 1: A Long Way from Home

Chapter 1: A Long Way from Home (2007)


The short debut effort by the (unsurprisingly) U.K. duo, Chapter 1: A Long Way from Home finds the British Expeditionary Force to be the latest act to take advantage of the space carved out by acts like Hood, the Beta Band, and Kid A-era Radiohead, a pop/rock approach that relies on a quiet electronic experimentalism. This said, the core of the duo's process is that other recent development, the distant collaboration, with singer Aid Burrows and musician Justin Lockey swapping sound files while never meeting. If the calm, layered singing of Lockey provides an easy anchor, other elements are less immediate or straightforward -- the spacious piano parts, softly treated, on "Throwing Little Stones," the stately but queasy flow of the guitars on "Lashing Out," and the intricate interweaving of keyboards, vocals, and drums on "The Engine." There's even a burst of treated drum'n'bass rhythm on the title track, and if the end result sounds like it's meant to be the analog of "Idioteque" for this group, it's not surprising. The overall air of modern art-pop in a calm, abstract vein may in ways be a last holdout of post-punk's original promise.- www.allmusic.com/


Yourcodenameis:milo was an English alternative rock/experimental/post-hardcore band from Washington, Tyne and Wear. Their debut 2004 mini album All Roads To Fault was followed in 2005 by the album Ignoto, both on Fiction/Polydor Records. In 2006 the band left their Polydor contract and within a month signed a new record deal with V2 Records. In November 2006, the band released Print Is Dead Vol 1, a side project album featuring collaborations with other bands. The band's second full-length album, They Came From The Sun, was released on 2 April 2007.
The band began an indefinite hiatus in August 2007. - wikipedia

Yourcodenameis:milo were an alternative rock/experimental/math/post-hardcore band from Washington in North East England, UK. They were best known for their debut 2004 mini album All Roads To Fault, which was followed in 2005 by the album Ignoto, both on Fiction / Polydor Records. In 2006 the band left their Polydor contract and within a month signed a new record deal with V2 Records. In November 2006, the band released Print Is Dead Vol 1, a side project album featuring collaborations with other bands. The band’s second full-length album, They Came From The Sun, was released on April 2, 2007.
Yourcodenameis:milo’s style was influenced by earlier post-hardcore/progressive bands, especially the likes of Cave In, Shellac, Fugazi, and At the Drive-In. Themes such as space/sci-fi dominate their sound and elements, such as track titles and artwork, were often quirky and in-line with a very specific motif the band created for themselves (The Designers Republic are responsible for the band’s early artwork with Storm Thorgerson producing artwork from the Rapt. Dept. EP onwards).
While effects were used heavily, as with any post-hardcore band, overproduction is not evident and a raw sound is achieved on both albums. Critics of the album cite the production (often fuzzy and indistinguishable) as the reason the albums have not done well commercially; however, a common retort is that the production is an accurate representation of the band’s live performances, and suits the band.- www.last.fm/

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