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Bark Psychosis - Hex CD (album) cover


Bark Psychosis


Post Rock/Math rock

3.99 | 67 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Many consider this to be the first Post-Rock album although band leader and singer Graham Sutton was a huge TALK TALK fan and that's the band I thought of right away during my first spin of "Hex". I actually prefer the album they put out 10 years after this but there's no denying that this is an influential album. Sparse, ambient, lots of space are words and phrases that kept coming to mind as I listened to this. Lots of guests here adding vibes, flute, trumpet, djembe along with a string quartet. The main band adds vocals, drums, guitar, bass, organ, piano, melodica and more. I like that album cover as it reminds me of how good this is while listening to it at night while driving.

"The Loom" opens with relaxed piano as strings swell and recede in the background. Bass just before 1 1/2 minutes then drums and vocals join in before 2 minutes. I like the bass, percussion and atmosphere that follows as the vocals step aside. An experimental ending as well. "A Street Noise" opens with percussion and bass then vocals. Some trumpet comes and goes. It turns fuller with vocals just before a minute and contrasts will continue. Keys, bass and a very minimal sound starting after 3 1/2 minutes to the end.

"Absent Friend" has a relaxed start with sparse guitar, a beat and accordion-like sounds. It picks up a little with bass before a minute. Such a chill out tune. I like when the keys arrive making things brighter and they will come and go. Headphone music the rest of the way. Ambient is the word. "Big Shot" is laid back with organ to start. I love when that bass and drums takes over quickly reminding me of that great MOONGARDEN album "Round Midnight" especially when the vibes arrive.

"Fingerspit" opens with keys I think, a beat, atmosphere and reserved vocals. Trumpet around 3 1/2 minutes as the vocals step aside. Bass, drums and more continue. Vocals are back just before 6 minutes along with some rare outbursts of trumpet. It's building. Manipulated vocals after 7 minutes. "Eyes & Smiles" is a tough go, just not a lot going on over the 8 plus minutes. Sparse acoustic guitar to begin with as fragile vocals join in. Lots of space here as discordant piano arrives before 5 minutes along with some outbursts but then it settles right down again. Vocals are back after 5 1/2 minutes. Acoustic guitar is back late to end it with relaxed drums.

"Pendulum Man" ends the album and this is almost 10 minutes of ambience. A guitar line is repeated as atmosphere rolls in. Atmosphere only after 4 minutes but the acoustic guitar returns quickly plus trumpet at 4 1/2 minutes. Organ follows. Sparse and relaxed. Piano and atmosphere lead late.

This will sit nicely beside my later TALK TALK albums. I'm far from being blown away by this minimalist work but I have a great appreciate for it considering it's 1994.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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