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Bark Psychosis - Codename: Dustsucker CD (album) cover


Bark Psychosis


Post Rock/Math rock

3.88 | 91 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars As the band who happened to be at the front of the queue when the Wire were distributing the latest batch of slightly grandstanding genre names, Bark Psychosis have gathered quite a reputation among post-rock fans. Sure, Hex may have come after Spiderland and Laughing Stock and Millions Now Living...but it was the album that finally booted the music press into action, and made them see a constellation in the diversity of different bands that were to fall under the term, however unwillingly.

This album is not Hex. It's better than Hex (ho ho ho), if less singular. It has a vibe of its own, and it is a vibe that hides very well the fact that mastermind Graham Sutton has spent the intervening near-decade making, of all things, tech-step. Perhaps it is the presence of Lee Harris in the drumstool, but Dustsucker is very much more in the shadow of Talk Talk than its predecessor. It is easy to forget what a great skinsman Harris actually is, a master of slow but busy grooves with lots of jazzy work on the cymbals and hats. (Most of dustsucker fairly crawls along, rumbling in the lower registers, with the only bright notes coming from those cymbals.)

And if Harris's turn here highlights how Talk Talk was more than Mark Hollis, Tim Friese-Green and a lot of heroin, the overall sound itself brings out the collaborative elements of the original line-up. Those famous dubby basslines have followed their creator off stage, replaced by intermittent threatening growls and a general focus on atmosphere rather than groove. The synths are almost gone, barring some very subtle atmospherics and a 10mph acid line on Miss Abuse.

So what we have is less Hex 2 than Laughing Stock '04. And that's no bad thing, really. It's odd, given how influential that record was, how little use has been made of its most interesting devices; schizoid instrumental performances, wild sweeps in dynamics, intervention of harsh noise in the most soporific possible way - all power Dustsucker magnificently. By turns gorgeous, tense and terrifying, no post-rocker should be without it.

tragiclifestories | 4/5 |


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