The new album from Bat For Lashes demands repeat listens, as it sinks its audience deep into a tragic, album-long narrative. Our Sarah Eaton reviews.
The boys in Blesst Chest know how to grind. They know how to put on the hard hat, grab the lunch pail and get shit done. From the grit evidenced in the trio’s proggy ’70s-style jams, it’s clear that they revel in the collective ability to make music for the working man.
The upcoming Wish We Were There marks not only the group’s full-length debut, but also the first offering from XRAY Records, a subsidiary of XRAY.fm. For a record company’s first release, Wish We Were There is a no-brainer. The group’s muscled, exploratory musical style throws open the doors and puts PDX on notice that not only is there room for unapologetic instrumental rock, there’s a pretty damned good luminary leading the way. Led by Summer Cannibals bassist Jenny Logan and partner Maryam Hanafi Troncelliti, XRAY Records has planted a solid flag in the ground with the release.
Wish We Were There doesn’t necessary wander so much as it charts a course and blows ahead wielding the dual machetes of undeniable energy and surefooted riffs. Armed with track titles open to any and all interpretation, the trio bashes through microcosmic musical odysseys like “Sebadad” which features deft hooks from guitarist Jay Winebrenner, and “Yes Minus 3,” showcasing the blunt instrument percussion from Jake Morris. Several tracks include surf-style guitar lines that ultimately morph into twisted, self-referential statements of tongue-in-cheek purpose (“Monster Mash ‘99”).
For a group that’s built a following from its beastly live shows, the attitude and force of talent translates nicely to the recorded medium. Never dull, full of interesting ideas and clear chemistry, Wish We Were There is a win for Blesst Chest and XRAY Records.»
– Charles Trowbridge