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coverpic flag Canada - Full Moon 204 - 04/25/13

The Besnard Lakes
Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO
Jagjaguwar

The Besnard Lakes are back with their 4th album, following the trail of their minor break-through The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse (2007), and their last platter, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night (2010). I recall seeing them live here in Oslo three years ago (on April 6th 2010. They also visited Oslo in 2007, playing the ØYA-festivalen), at the small Cafe Mono. It was a great night, but the evening started rather oddly when the band had their sound check some 15 minutes in prior to opening their show, with the entire audience present, eagerly awaiting. Well, we had a small fore-taste, or appetizer served just before the cool show kick-started.

Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO (a title meaning...?) brings more of their atmospheric, psychedelic rock; or, maybe rather dreamy pop. They sound quite laid-back and chilled, but at the same time they do also have sort of a focused and alerted approach and expression. The Besnard Lakes hail from Montreal, in Quebec, Canada, and they were formed some 10 years ago by the husband'n'wife team of Jace Lasek (guitars and vocals) and Olga Goreas (bass and vocals) who both write songs for the band. The four-piece also count drummer Kevin Laing and guitarist Richard White, along with a palette of instruments to colorize their music, such as: flute, omnichord and mellotron. The band's name comes from a lake (yes, right, Besnard Lake) in North Saskatchewan, Canada. Besnard Lake is known as the 'Lake of Many Islands' (more than 250), and could be a fitting name-source, or symbol for a band like this: They create a sea of sound with lots of musical isles in it.

The opening "46 Satires" is a windswept, wide screened, slow and elegant pop daze of a song, setting the mood perfectly. "At Midnight", "Colour Yr Lights In", and "Catalina" follow the dazed and hazy path of the opener. "People of the Sticks", the 'video single', is a bit more concrete and substantial, framed and focused than some of the songs gliding on in a more cruise-controlled, abstract dream mode. "The Spectre" is another track being a highlight for me. "Alamogordo" closes the album, being a bit more noisier, before ending with a near 4 minute fade-out.

Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO was (like both ...Dark Horse and ...Roaring Night) recorded at Jace Lasek's own Breakglass Studios, and produced by Lasek himself (along with his wife Olga). Well, my overall feeling is that The Besnard Lakes have taken one step to the side since their last album. They do what they want to do, not trying to reinvent anything or broaden their musical horizon; they write and play the songs they want to create and perform. Period. I'm afraid it gets a bit too stationary and monotonous for my ears, despite the obvious beauty of their songs.

Copyright © 2013 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Besnard Lakes articles/reviews: A Coliseum Complex Museum, Golden Lion, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night.

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