RELEASE DATE: 13/11/15
RECORD COMPANY: Hand Drawn Dracula
Issued towards the end of 2015, Beliefs 2nd album Leaper still managed to make it into quite a few end of year lists – and rightly so. The Canadian band’s sophomore effort goes down like the honey it references lyrically throughout – sometimes sweet, sometimes sharp and never simple. Their affection for MBV and Sonic Youth is evident, with huge washes of guitar, spoken word sections and a smattering of discord. But like the best of the genre, this gets twisted, mashed and moulded into a new form.
It’s hard to think of a more aptly-titled track than opener ‘Tidal Wave’ which pitches and yaws along with swooping, fuzzy Fenders. ‘1992’ is a knowing nod to the shoegaze pioneers, with lyrical references to ‘Just Like Honey’ and a sonic swirl. With its baggy drum intro, you might think we’re staying in the 90’s for a while, but ‘Colour Of Your Name soon brings us back to the future with a charming and chiming guitar line. ‘Drown’ introduces a different feel with its melancholy lyrics, and adds some new colour to the sonic palette too. The opening chords of the (almost) clean guitar are delicious. Title track ‘Leaper’ is large, lovely and layered. Its reverbs and delays weave and wobble, creating lots of texture. And there’s enough crunch and clashing to keep it from being too pretty. The cool vocal of ‘Ghosts’ is a soothing pause, before the pace picks up again with ‘Morning Light’ which surges in with waves of washy guitar. ‘Go Ahead And Sleep’ is the definition of dreamy and sleeping is still on Beliefs mind in ‘Leave With You’. ‘I don’t want to stay asleep at the wheel’ they croon. But if dreaming sounds so good, why wake up? A stunning crystal vocal sparkles on closing track ‘Swooner’, all tumbling and trembling, like a bellyful of butterflies.
Beliefs are already signalling a new, more experimental direction for future works with less guitar and more technology. Wherever that takes them, let’s hope they keep dreaming.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
In her time, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion.