Beaches: She beats (Chapter Music, 2013)

Beaches - She Beats cover art

Las chicas de Send them away (uno de nuestros singles favoritos de comienzos de año) tienen todo un segundo álbum en la calle. Un disco un tanto irregular con demasiados altibajos, en el que se alternan instrumentales con cortes más convencionales, otros más experimentales. Algo de Noise, algo de Kraut, algo de experimentalismo, algo de Psicodelia… Un verdadero crisol al que mejor le echas un oído. Probablemente con temas como Send them away, Out of mind, Dune, Distance, Tanzanite, Runaway Ali, Al, Antonia, Karla y Gill te convencerán.
En realidad, se trata de su segundo trabajo, grabado para Chapter Music, y os puedo decir que se han pateado todos los escenarios posibles australianos y que incluso han viajado por los Usa teloneando a muchas bandas de la escena independiente. Además, son las niñas mimadas de gentes como Nick Cave

“It makes sense that for She Beats (released on the esteemed Australian Guy Blackman-run label Chapter Music) they’ve enlisted Michael Rother of Neu!, Kraftwerk, Harmonia, and Cluster (who became smitten with Beaches after crossing paths at the 2009 Melbourne iteration of All Tomorrow’s Parties) to record two tracks, lending the whole project his krautrock seal of approval. The result is a dusty, sun-bleached collection of loose-fitting psychedelic noise/prog that pulses with unnerving Teutonic precision. The hazy, 60s pop still makes disaffected appearances (the band members switch vocal duties but their uniformly slurred intonation leaves their identities fluid), but there appears to be a larger focus on corralling their distortion-drenched, loopy guitar work into something approaching Thurston Moore’s barely contained squall.
First track “Out of Mind” pretty much sets every influence Beaches has out on the table for a deceptively complex guitar epic. Between Allison Bolger and Ali McCann on dueling rhythm guitar, and Antonia Sellbach on lead, there are enough memorable riffs for four songs here, exploring garage rock, psych, and solos half-nabbed from “Teen Age Riot”. It’s arguably the best composed song on the album, stitched together with an eye for build and release that belies the meandering jam sessions that birthed this band. Though the lesser tracks– like the Quicksilver-cribbing “Keep on Breaking Through” and the Eastern-influenced “Veda”– are marred by indecsision, coming off as extended interludes rather than song-songs.
The Rother-featured pairing of “Distance” and “Granite Snake”, however, expertly display the group’s strengths in a way that feels loose, exciting, and dynamic; “Distance” in particular is mesmerizing in the way it melds the group’s shoegazing tendencies, soloing abilities, and ambient pop vocals, with the lockstep of drummer Karla Way driving a song that comes off focused rather than repetitive; each guitar riff and subsequent key change seems like a revelation. “Granite Snake” is a masterclass facsimile of the sound Rother has become known for, with bassist Gill Tucker’s grimey riff used to build a rich tapestry of zooming guitars.

She Beats ebbs and flows in strangely sinister formations, sustaining a woozy unease that’s hard to pin down. The record’s most thrilling moments occur when Beaches force the demarcation between the diamond sharp rhythm section and the improvisational flourishes of the guitar work to slowly dissolve with measured control, revealing weird hypnotic depths forged from the group’s established, and seemingly limitless, chemistry” (Pitchfork)

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