telling the scene kids what to listen to since 2001.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

the beans - bassplayer

I've been listening to this record on and off for the last few months. whenever I'm spending some time concentrating on work (coding or revising, as the case may be). On paper, The Beans (one of many, many bands/artists to have recorded under that name) aren't a particularly interesting prospect - another post-rock band out of Vancouver, Canada; once did a 48-hour performance; unconventional instrumentation, etc. Basically, Godspeed. Sort of.

In reality The Beans create something that is truly refreshing. They're as jazz-influenced as bands like Do Say Make Think or Tortoise, but where those bands often fail is in creating a sensation of space, of pieces coalescing out of the aether rather than being strapped to beats. Laid-back brush drum grooves, thoughtful and minimal guitar work as well as delicate basslines drive this record.

The Bean's schtick is seriously improved by their production quality. Instruments sit beautifully in the mix, cymbals seeming to have their own frequency space, and the guitars sitting below them with a big fat low end. Reverb is used tastefully, far more tastefully than I've heard on many recent post-rock albums.

The opener, May 6th Expires, slinks along on a descending bassline and spacious drums, before breaking down into ambient keyboards and foreign radio samples. The continiously shifting theme keeps your interest, though the movements never feel contrived or designed, simply organic.

Galuda spends several minutes setting up a driving, trebly riff that combines with some deliciously martial drumming and tasteful Rhodes. The absolutely sublime Number Four drifts between simple basslines and surging guitars, the piece sounding as if it was composed on a beach somewhere in the Pacific. The brilliantly titled My Love Is A Rhinestone Infused Dodecahedron toys with folk riffage for nearly six minutes, before some very EITS-esque drumming lets the guitars and keyboard open up into spiralling, glassy crescendos - this three minute section should be Canada's new national anthem.

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