Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Bellflur Are Asleep
Maybe it's because of the economy or the constant uneasy state our nation seems to be in, but 2010 seems to be the year for mopey depressing music. The sheer number of bands who seriously should be seeking help has gone up drastically since the bottom fell out of the economy. For whatever reason, it's an interesting parallel how such things shape the music we end up listening to. As strange as that sounds, when you think about it sometimes bad times makes for fantastic music. Would Joy Division or the Smiths even existed if it weren't for Margaret Thatcher? It something to think about as you ponder the latest in American bands who seem as though they need to put on a perscription of Zoloft...Bellflur.
This four piece band who are often spotted in animal masks seem to take the grey and grim side of life and turn it into something dramatically beautiful with seriously cool results. Their latest album, Asleep. Asleep.is a dreamy, moody effort that's a little Radiohead, a bit sad core, a wee bit symphonic and a bit nerdy. They might not be the happiest bunch of musicians on the planet, but whatever discomfort they're feeling, they disguise it well with an ethereal sheet of noise that provides each of the songs a dull sheen that helps hold Asleep. Asleep. together. It's an impressive effort that's filled with dense atmospherics and enough melancholy to make Robert Smith seem happy.
This is a record that feels awkward from the get go. Asleep. Asleep.is a little out of step, a little out of tune, and a little out of it's mind, but that's it's charm. It's the album's overwhelming sense of isolation and sense that life is quite confusing that steers much of this album into pop heaven and when you throw in a dark and mercurial backing track that sounds like a broken Thom Yorke you're left with something that sounds dishearteningly magnificent. Bellflur have clearly tapped into their inner demons as well as their introspective nature mixed them with a whole host of odd sounds and riffs and emerged with something that is anything but life affirming. When the band sings, "There is no future," repeatedly you can't help but wonder if they're really right. They seem to think that only the modern world is what is left and lord knows after the last couple of years...the end might actually be better than the modern world.
Asleep. Asleep.is anything but a cheery record. It's the sound of a band in social and cultural haze wishing they were actually unconscious hoping it will all go away. Bellflur have created a post-modern musical therpay for the world around us. It's bleak and a bit minimal, but it's the sort of thing that will help you forget everything around you. Nice job guys....now get some help.