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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Record Review – Bezoar

Wyt Deth
Bezoar CD/LP

Bezoar’s music has been described as psychedelic -sludge but I would classify them as a "weird-doom" band. Their debut album has been on constant rotation in my life for the last two weeks. This would usually sound like a huge recommendation but there’s more to it that that. Conscious I would have to review it, I needed to understand it, to be able to classify it and delve inside its strengths and shortcomings. So far I’ve failed.

Why’s this? Well, on first impression I didn’t like it at all. In Sara Villard’s occasional yelped vocals and the frantic shifts in mood and gear I detected a whiff of hipster-ism, not helped by the fact that the band hail from New York – world capital of the irony-clad.

Then I listened to it again and I didn’t get that feeling at all. Instead I enjoyed those sudden changes in tempo, the way the vocals alternately soar and then dive into powerful exhortations, the way the arrangements mimic classic doom but with everything askew, the occasional drop-outs into dark fireside acoustic

Then there’s things I notice that alternately annoy and beguile – the lack of grooves on the album grates for one, but then Sara’s vocal will alight on a complex riff that will take a hold in my cerebellum or an off-kilter guitar solo will burn incandescently. So I play it again and again and again. And that I suppose is the greatest recommendation of all.

Austin Matthews

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