The Besnard Lakes
The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night


4.0
excellent

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
March 10th, 2010 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Getting in, getting the job done in a balanced way, and getting out of there before it becomes tedious.

It’s an authentic and likable build-to-rise exercise in shoegaze. That was what 2007’s The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse really boiled down to. Not so much awe-provoking as it was engrossing and gravitating as a listen, the album marked primary songwriters Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas' augmentation to a duo of renown and respect. Their Funeral came later than what they would have probably liked, yes, but the married pair had finally found a sweet spot for the then-six-member The Besnard Lakes. Refusing to retread into familiar ground, the now four-piece still keep the dark atmospheric soundscapes of their past and those lovely surf-rock melodies intact, but they have transitioned their ambitions into a more compact, more free flowing, and more absorbing album, making The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night not so much an improvement over […]the Dark Horse, but a reformatting of the elements that made that album so successful in the first place.

But calling […]the Roaring Night a pretentious re-creation of their past with a different coat of paint isn’t entirely fair either. Just as the painted crimson, orange of this release’s album art contrasts the fiery dark horse of the former, there’s certainly enough here to easily distinguish the two albums. Take for instance the opening two-part track, “Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent’: part one begins with a short segment of effects and radio-distorted vocal passages before Jace Lasek takes over on part two with his sky-high falsetto, later leading into a Brian Wilson-esque melody over a reserved, though steady, transitioning from ambiance to distorted guitars. Much of the one-way direction of [...]the Dark Horse is replaced here with a more cohesive, flowing nature that puts more focus on smooth pathways and transitions for the majority of album's course. “Land Of The Living” is very much the same way: tinkering with the distorted, short-wave radio samples in part one – an effect that The Besnard Lakes played with on their last outing as well – we are then met with the sleepless voice of Olga Goreas in part two of the piece: ‘Take a long walk down the countryside / take a long walk to clear my mind’. While dividing tracks in two is probably the most obvious way to give an album a sense of intertwinment, this cohesive quality flows through the majority of […]the Roaring Night, effectively replacing the often-separated, albeit grandiose feel of […]the Dark Horse.

The Canadian quartet also seems more ready and able to experiment with the more conventional indie rock-styled tracks on [...]the Dark Horse - think "On Bedford and Grand" or "Celdric's War" from their last album. “Albatross” mixes surly guitar riffs with the sweet delivery of Olga on this song – Jase switching roles in offering backing harmonies this time out, giving an example of the cooperative changing of singing duties between the two on this outing. A more reserved, mournful track, “Light Up The Night” draws eyes back to the album art and has front man Jase warning, ‘You better move on they’d say / you’d never be safe this way,’ and finally, raising voice and exclamation for the repeated chorus of, ‘Lighting up the night / lighting up the night.' The sentiment is abstract, but effective, even more impacting when the entrance of drumming and a shoegaze guitar solo enter the track for the ending cycle of choruses. And yet, for every raise in volume of tone or distortion of these aforementioned tracks is a reprieve by way of the muted steam-roller “Chicago Train” – another track that brings Jases’ falsetto to the forefront of attention – and the jingle pop of Ogla-fronted “The Lonely Moan”, closing the album off with anything but a bang; a snoozer, certainly, but in context of the lolling, trance-like listen that is […]the Roaring Night, it’s an appropriate ending.

“And This Is The Sound Of Progress”, while being track eight of […]the Roaring Night, is almost the perfect summary line for describing the Canadian four-piece’s new album. It’s not so much a progression for the band as a repositioning of sonic elements, though, largely making the sound that equated to be no more than, while effective, cut-and-paste, build-to-release dynamics found on last effort […]the Dark Horse into something more tangible, conventional, and cohesive. The track in question is actually another example of these indie rock/shoegaze friendly elements that fill much of […]the Roaring Night; asserting its purpose early on with grooving high guitar notes and the sunny delivery of Jase Lasek, the track never wear's out its welcome with an over-extension of track time or an over-abundance of ambiant shoegaze. In very much the same way, […]the Roaring Night succeeds in its goals as an album: getting in, getting the job done in a balanced way, and getting out of there before it becomes tedious.



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user ratings (41)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
AggravatedYeti
March 10th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

d'oh! I just got to my last paragraph of my "Are The Roaring Night" review and you've gotta go drop dis shit on me jared wtf mate? :P

I'm only mad cause it's so good and you do this amazing album some real justice.

damn it.

AggravatedYeti
March 10th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also these guys aren't a duo, were a sextet up until this album, and I was under the impression that hadn't changed.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 10th 2010


5804 Comments


Sorry man! didn't mean to steal your review.

I believe they're currently a four piece. I guess I meant the duo thing as they are the primary songwriters of the band. I will edit that though.

AggravatedYeti
March 10th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hahaha, dude, thank you for making it a kick ass review bump at least. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

and yes I was just about to say you generally refer to them as a song writing duo and I'm prob being a nit-picky ass.

good stuff anyways, I agree 100% on the whole 'trimming on the fat to make a concise album' aspect of this. Personally takes everything I loved about 'Are The Dark Horse' and amplifies it or fleshes it out.

mmmm mmm good. 2010 is just too much so far.

EVedder27
March 10th 2010


6088 Comments


sweet, I may have to get this

Ponton
Emeritus
March 10th 2010


5804 Comments


Yeah I agree Yeti. I'm really surprised at how many high-ish ratings I've given out already. Thanks by the way.


The stream should be right here Mike, if you want to give it a go:

http://www.spinner.com/new-releases#/20

Romulus
March 10th 2010


8441 Comments


Your best of 2010 list is going to be so epic... I'm running out of bad jokes to make about your reviewing. Review's awesome though, pos'd.

EVedder27
March 10th 2010


6088 Comments


Thanks Jared, will check out.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 10th 2010


5804 Comments


Thanks rom. I've yet to try out beach house and give the new titus or pantha du prince a full listen. Those are supposed to be great

thebhoy
Emeritus
March 10th 2010


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was going to do this, but forgot to get the album. I'll get it now, really liked their last record. I may pop out a review, idk though, you do a good job here. Pos.

YouAreMySilence
March 11th 2010


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Have had this downloaded for the longest time, should probably give this a listen.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 11th 2010


5804 Comments


Thanks Keelan, I saw your rating on horse, but wasn't sure if you would do one for this

thebhoy
Emeritus
March 11th 2010


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I planned on it, but then three essays in real life happened haha

AggravatedYeti
March 13th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's a really great album Keelan -- imo. obviously.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 13th 2010


5804 Comments


definitely. I'm surprised more people haven't tried this out actually. The press for this has been very good.

thebhoy
Emeritus
March 18th 2010


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

just getting around to listening to this now, first two tracks are solid, but off to school, will get around to the rest of it later.

AggravatedYeti
March 23rd 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

klapper Ima put the hurt on you.

thebhoy
Emeritus
March 23rd 2010


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what's with Rudy giving 3's to all the good albums this year?

AggravatedYeti
March 23rd 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck if I know man.

maybe he's infected himself with the klap

thebhoy
Emeritus
March 23rd 2010


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

too soon man, too soon.



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