There is an accepted music industry strategy, mainly from the mouths of experienced music managers and A&R men, that for a band to get ready to present themselves to the world they should go on tour. In most cases this advice works; the band hone their craft on the road so by the time they get on to ‘Later with Jools Holland’ they can amaze with their slick, tight rock performance. However, this doesn’t always work.
BEAK> formed by Geoff Barrow (drums), Matt Williams (keys-axe), and Billy Fuller (bass) in 2009 when they recorded their self-titled debut album in Bristol, created out of 12 days of improv sessions and then edited into song form. Shorty after releasing their self titled debut album on INVADA records UK and Ipecac records U.S., the band went on a successful tour, playing various festival dates across Europe and the U.S. Buzzing from the tour, Beak> then returned to the studio to start work on ALBUM 2 titled >> only to find that the time on the road had taken its toll on the band’s delicately sensitive and creative nature. And, by consequence, had turned them into a truly awful-sounding pub prog-rock band. The magic had gone. It seemed that the band were thoroughly moribund. Until… One rainy afternoon in Bristol after many tortured, truly terrible recording sessions something changed. It may have been the diesel fumes from the bands tour splitter bus had worn off, others say that the band simply turned their amplifiers down. We will possibly never know the true events of that afternoon but the band began to play and, once again as before, their bleak, wobbly anti-blue note sound had returned, but this time with added synthesizers.
BEAK> have a strong ethos to making records – all albums come from live improv sessions with all musicians playing together in one room, no preconceived written ideas and once recorded no overdubs or fixing – what you hear is what happened.
BEAK> have released 2 albums and toured extensively in Europe & the US, headlining shows and supporting Chris Cunningham & The Horrors along with playing many festivals in Europe (ATP, Primavera Sound, Route du Rock).
Despite BEAK> members all being in other bands they passionately feel that BEAK> should not be seen as a “side project” – they’re a real, continuous working band.
Although BEAK> have been played on specialist UK radio shows this single MONO is the bands first track specifically taken to radio as a single
BEAK> wrapped up their UK tour throughout November and December of last year, and are playing select dates in the US this February.
Beak> US dates:
February 8 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
February 10 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
February 12 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex
February 13 San Francisco, CA The Independent
“It’s weird, timeless, gloom funk where ancient-sounding electronics phase in Silver Apples woose-glory, krautrock grooves melt into This Heat avant-punk minimalism, where Devo performs through a mouth full of cottonballs and a stomach of Codiene.” –Spin/ Top Albums of 2012
“Krautrock is synonymous with a certain rhythmic precision and propulsion, but BEAK> don’t just lock into a motorik beat and activate the cruise control. Rather, they see the music as part of a broader continuum, digging up its roots in the frazzled psychedelia of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, funk, and musique concrete...” – Pitchfork
“The results are impressive…a record that’s heroically uncommercial but hypnotic none the less.” – The Observer
“Theirs is a refreshingly opaque, charmingly fumbling sound world whose obstinate primitivism can’t conceal a playful musicality and facility for skewed, inside-outside grooves” – **** MOJO
“Creativity prospers in hard times…Menacing and paranoid, this second album makes satisfying sense in 2012.” – 8/10 NME
“Music made for the sheer joy of making music.” – Q
“Delightfully creepy” - The Fly
“A group playing exactly what they want, how they want and never mind the consequences.” - Loud & Quiet
Barrow’s voice comes out of a low, dark cave, echoing and reverberating. He’s got a synth down there, twinkles flashing out every once in a while, and a couple of friends to harmonize with. But its the bass, the simple drumming, and the crunching guitar that drive things.”- Consequence of Sound (selected >> in their Top albums of 2012)
Barrow revels in pure atmosphere and mood; songs bubble along in the shadows with a subtle change here and there. At times, like on the throbbing “Yatton,” BEAK> sound like a warped, parallel-universe Radiohead if that band was consumed by its arty tendencies. The band creates some pretty frightening soundscapes—“Ladies Mile,” “The Gaol,” and the back half of album closer “Kidney”—by deploying almost overwhelming dissonance.” -Prefix