Spock's Beard - Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep review
|Album:||Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep|
|Release date:||March 2013|
01. Hiding Out
02. I Know Your Secret
03. A Treasure Abandoned
06. Something Very Strange
07. Waiting For Me
Disc II [Limited Edition]
01. The Man You're Afraid You Are
02. Down A Burning Road
03. Wish I Were Here
04. Something Very Strange [Sanctified Remix]
05. Postcards From Perdition
While not yet a norm it is genuinely pleasing to see bands succeeding at crowd funding their own creative output. And while it is somewhat curious to see established acts like Spock's Beard - who already have 10 albums to their name - doing it, a successful funding campaign might actually only be mounted when you've got a credible history and a lot of quality material to show for all the years of hard work. For the fan the main question in such a case is: will the 11th album be good enough?
The short answer is yes. The slightly longer answer will take some explaining. The hint of doubt with any band comes with a line-up change. It's oftentimes all the more troubling if it's the vocalist (who was also the drummer in this case) that leaves. However, in the case of Spock's Beard changes have come somewhat gradually. For example, Jimmy Keegan has been their live drummer for years, and Ted Leonard of Enchant has already been doing shows with the band. My own doubts, if I had any, were wiped away at the only show the band played last year. That Night of the Prog gig was phenomenally good.
So, the new members have slid in without much trouble. That leaves the question of music. As far as Spock's Beard goes, it easily matches the level of their latest albums. It has the complex interplay of instruments and structural variation while at the same time preserving a certain easy-going nature. Or, if you prefer it phrased the other way around, it sounds light on the ear and is accessible on the surface but has got depths to keep you occupied for quite a while.
However, one of the problems I've always had with Spock's Beard is the presence of songs that are technically well executed but sound kind of dragged out. It's one of the least wanted feelings while you're listening to a complex album riding the wave of delicate balance between tempo and technical prowess - a dragged out composition feels like an age long draught. With this album it's "Submerged" that tests your patience; the main problem - a slight lack of pace, in my view. Because what gradually follows soon culminates with a pretty brilliant "Something Very Strange." Admittedly, it's no "Kamikaze," to draw a parallel with their previous effort, X, but the album definitely peaks at this point.
So, an album by Spock's Beard is like a sine wave, or a cosine wave in this case, if I'm to be precise. It starts up high, goes into a slump, then goes up again. If you've got a bonus disc edition, you'll get more of these up and down fluctuations, though. Which is not necessarily a bad thing as the overall standard is high. Which is, all things considered, what fans have paid for. In the end, though, a thought remains lingering: is crowd funding the answer for both the band and the fans alike? It did work for Spock's Beard, and not for the first time either.
Written on 14.03.2013 by
I shoot people.
Sometimes, I also write about it.
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