Bowery Electric: Beat

beatIs that the fridge humming or the new Bowery Electric album? Bwa ha ha I’ll be here all week.

Seriously, though, this is my second minimalist rock record this year already. What gives?

This is way more boring than Beak>. The sounds are gorgeous (usually…”Under The Sun” is definitely an exception) and fall on the ears in a wonderfully pleasing fashion, but there’s hardly any kind of change in these songs. It’s pretty much one or two chords repeated for two to 16 minutes. Sometimes vocals creep in, but not very often, and even then they’re way back in the mix and repetitive.

Only “Under The Sun,” with its single repeated bass line for three-and-a-half minutes, is hard to listen to. Everything else is at least pleasant, even if I would only ever want to listen to it very not sober. Some of the songier tracks are better than the less-songy ones, and that makes the rating system fail in this case. There’s no way decent tracks like “Beat” and “Empty Words” deserve the same rating as “Looped,” which is literally just a single sound repeated for 2:40, or “Postscript,” which is mostly one chord, yes one, with some fluttering underneath held for almost 17, yes 17, minutes.

This is a well-executed album and sounds gorgeous. There’s just very, very little going on, which makes this a very niche listen.

– “Beat,” “Empty Words,” “Without Stopping,” “Fear Of Flying,” “Looped,” “Black Light,” “Inside Out,” “Coming Down,” “Postscript”
– “Under The Sun”
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Beat – very minimalist. 7:15 and it hardly changes
  2. Empty Words – mumbled female vox. Maybe my fave.
  3. Without Stopping – Nice, but too repetitive/long? Bit of a droney vocal line. Definitely too repetitive for full heart status.
  4. Under The Sun – Shorter at like 3.5 minutes. Got a real prominent and boring bass line that, along with some amp noise is pretty much the whole song. And I don’t like that bass riff. Riff makes a tiny change at 2:25.
  5. Fear Of Flying – One of the songier ones as the bass line kinda moves and there are a few other layers.
  6. Looped – Just one spacey, short sound repeated for the entire 2:40 or so. I have it as open because it’s not unpleasant, but it seems unfair to have it ranked the same as many other quite good tracks.
  7. Black Light – Back to more of a song again. I do like this.
  8. Inside Out – Too long (7:20) and too repetitive. I think it’s just one riff and a spacey sound effect. Oh, it does repeat every several bars. But, again, like the last, I do like this.
  9. Coming Down –
  10. Postscript – This is almost one chord. It’s a nice chord. And a bit further on they add some stuff like arpeggiation and some tension/resolution, but that chord is pretty much just held for almost 17 minutes.

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