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Bark Psychosis - Hex CD (album) cover


Bark Psychosis


Post Rock/Math rock

3.99 | 66 ratings

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4 stars One of the first Post Rock albums!

When i became part of the PA family some years ago, one of the sub gernes that were totally unknown to me was the Post Rock one, i just knew Godspeed and Sigur Ros, not even EitS at that moment, so i felt the need of getting myself some of the genre's music in order to understand what was it about and also to increase my self-knowledge. I remember that little by little i started listening to different albums not only from the big names of the Post Rock, but also others like the one i am reviewing now, which fortunately left me very pleased and with a great taste of this music.

Bark Psychosis is the name of this band and Hex is the album's title, which was released back in 1994 when i am almost sure the label Post Rock didn't exist or it was maybe giving it's first steps, i don't really know, but what i am sure, is that the music created here was not the music the people were used to at that moment, so for me this is a landmark album, one of the very first Post Rock examples and to my ears, one of the best ever released.

Hex contains 7 songs and a total time of 51 minutes, my real knowledge about the band is very limited, what i know is that their leader was a man called Graham Sutton who gathered a serie of friends and musicians who had similar ideas and way of seeing life, the line up here is very vast, several people contributed in the creation of this beauty.

The album starts with The Loom, with a piano introduction and then with a delicious atmosphere created by the percussion and synths accompanied by Sutton's vocals, which by the way is very particular. It is a great and warm opener song, though at the end of it, it fades out with a strange manner. Let me tell you that this is an album that you must listen with good headphones, since there are some hidden sounds that may not be caugh by the listener without headphones.

Then we have A Street Scene , where the bass repeated lines predominate and create the rythm of the song, some seconds ago we will listen to a trumpet here and there along with a soft guitar playing, the vocals appear again and gives to the song it's needed flavour, the kind of abstract background created by the synths is wonderful in my opinion.

Absent Friend is the first longer track with more of 8 minutes, and believe me that this particular track reminds me to some Talk Talk moments, in specific the drumming from the fifht song of Laughing Stock whose name i don't remember now. There is an strange atmosphere here in the first part of the song, suddenly some nice guitar chords enter along with some other string instrument that plays it's own game within the song, the second part of the song is envolved by a beautiful mood which may provoke on you either a sense of tranquility or depression, it depends on you how you want to receive the music.

With Big Shot we finish the first half of the album, this song starts with a mini keyboard introduction, and then the rythm is marked again by the bass lines and soft drumming, there is always a kind of spacey and mellow sound created by the synths, at the half we have a little change with some piano notes and a triangle giving it's extra sand grain, the synth effects are always at the right moment, but in my humble opinion, this song in particular fades out all of a sudden when it still has something more to offer.

Fingerspit is a very curious song, while the most of the time we will listen to an over calm mood giving you a feeling of peace, it has several moments where guitars and vocals start a crescendo that sounds like if they had a rage inside that are trying to release in those parts. In the second part of the song there is a moment when actually everything sounds like an improv, as if they were just playing with the music, a part where seems there is not a goal to reach and has an incoherent sound. That may be good for the listener, or that may be the worst moment of the album.

No we have Eyes & Smiles which again reminds me to some Talk Talk moments, the soft and delicate playing of both guitars and drums along with the mellow vocals may intrigue you, what i like of post rock is that the music can take you whenever it wants, i mean if you listen carefully the mood create it will take you and make you feel the emotion the song is producing at the moment, it happens a lot with this song because i personally create some images in my mind, so this is what we call visual music, the song also has again the trumpet sound, very cool song which at the end has some kind of screams.

And everything has it's final episode, the one here is Pendulum Man that also is the longest track of the album reaching almost 10 minutes but well the first minute is just a repetition of a guitar note, inviting you to stay tuned there until it finishes, this is a clear example of what post rock is about, s piece of rock element created by the guitars, an atmosphere totally ambiental, and an important sense of minimalism within the composition, i repeat, with your headphones you will catch the sound much better, and will catch what the music really transmits. And with this representative song, we have reached the end of Hex.

I personally love this album, which without a doubt is on my top 5 of post rock, i invite everyone who loves the genre to appreciate this, and for those who like me wanted to explore more the realm of post rock, i highly recommend this album. My grade, 4 solid stars, excellent addition to any prog collection!

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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