ARTIST: 800 Beloved
RELEASE: Some Kind Of Distortion
RELEASE DATE: 03/08/15
When fellow musicians or people in the scene recommend new music to me I tend to sit up and take notice. So with that in mind & before I dive head long into this stunning collection of songs I really have to doff my hat to the ever brilliant Kedra Caroline from equally brilliant dream gazers ‘The Morelings’ for pointing me in the general direction of the band that Im about to review. ‘800 Beloved’ is a Michigan based group formed from the writing & production of singer/ songwriter Sean Lynch. The groups moniker, taken from a 1-800 telephone number, hints at the merger between two opposing themes – “800” representing the interest in popular cultures flimsiness while “Beloved” alludes to the lyrical use of sacred, often dismal & ironically naive subject matter! The band have been releasing music since 2007’s effortlessly sounding single release ‘Tidal’ through their immense debut album ‘Bouquet’ (2009) & 2010’s ‘Everything’s Purple’ & now with their latest release the absolutely stunning 8 track album – ‘Some Kind Of Distortion’. The album itself is awash with deep tonal beauty whilst its inner core holds a reverberating whirlpool of gazing sounds that grace your senses with every single note. It also has subtle post – punk connotations running through it but they float on a cloud of intermittent texture & fuzzy shadow play between the deep layers of delay & epic pulses of reverb.
The album floats onto the musical canvas with its opening track ‘0930131103’. Menacing instrumental beginnings lead into a shimmering reverberating guitar line that loops & arcs on itself with relative abandon. Next up is the epic first single to be taken from this musical masterpiece. A shoegazers wet dream in ‘Some Kind Of Distortion’ thunders into the musical atmosphere with its driving guitar lines & absolutely addictive vocal tones that lead the charge through walls & walls of warm fuzzy epic shoegazing goodness. A must have track in any music fans collection & most definitely one of my favourite tracks on this album. A masterpiece! Track three has experimental Radiohead all over it! I hate to make that analogy because Im not a fan of Radiohead at all but ‘Cicadas’ is what Radiohead should have done if they had of bothered to think about their music. This track is amazing. The dub like synth arrangements build & build under the immense vocal line & it actually feels like its about to pierce its musical boundaries & explode into shards of epic musical brilliance. This track is so addictive, it simply grabs you at every turn & carries you along with an intensity thats so hard to let go of. Next up is cinematic brilliance in the guise of the shuffling ‘SMPTE’. If you ask me this track deserves to appear on a David Lynch production with its glitchy samples, rising synth swells & the ever present addictive vocal tones coupled with those warm fuzzy guitars. Reminiscent at times to UK based alternative rockers ‘Doves (Last Broadcast)’ & their brilliant use of samples barely audible under the mix but immensely addictive to listen to. ‘Enduring Black’ is 2.54 of dreamy swirling guitars intertwined with waves of brilliantly effected vocals all wrapped around that charging drum arrangement. ‘Dent On A Hill’ creeps slowly like a stalking animal as it enters your audible range. This is the longest track on the whole album (5.57) but its absolutely stunning. It grabs for your attention from its very first note. You get sucked into its vocal lines & in turn get lost within a slow moving maelstrom of reverb. The atmospherics on this track alone are astounding. It builds & pans across the audible spectrum but never lets go. Simply stunning! The second last track on this immense album from Michigan based experimental shoegazers ‘800 Beloved’ is brilliance personified. The vocals swirl within a psychedelic soup as a simple guitar line holds the whole structure together within a dreamy wave of reverberating beauty. Do yourselves a favour & go listen to ‘The Maul’ with your headphones on! It will blow your mind. The final track on ‘Some Kind Of Distortion’ is ‘Die Slow’ another epic track full of mesmerising synth lines, driving effected guitar parts, drum arrangements that seem to float rather than pound & that swirling effected vocal line. This is a treat for fans of experimental psych lightly sprinkled with hints of shoegaze infused alternative dreamgaze.
‘800 Beloved’ have caught me off guard with this latest release. I was expecting a full on shoegazing assault on my ear drums but instead I got a mesmerising collection of tracks jam packed with shimmering experimental brilliance and a plethora of influential shoegazing sub genres interspersed with psych, alt rock & dream pop promise! This is a masterful album that deserves recognition alone for the fact that it throws up something new every time I listen to it. It is in my opinion what the modern day gazing scene should be all about. Experimenting within its many sub-genres will help this scene immensely & add longevity going forward.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last three years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze Dream Pop Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. His other arm – Primal Radio – has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.