Review: Beatglider – Witches

Enraptured Records, a label renown for putting out music by artists with a psychedelic bent, have made another fine choice by releasing the new Beatglider album. Influenced as much by pagan imagery as much as the alternative American rock scene and British shoegaze, the results are experimental but frequently rewarding.

Two songs which will be familiar to those who heard their split EP with Shinri are featured again on ‘Witches’. ‘The Rattlesnake’ is like a suite made up of post-rock, shoegaze layers and built into a wonderfully, rolling intricate piece of music. ‘Lights On The Water’ is slightly less ambitious but – thanks to some breezy vocals and some driving guitars – it still pushes all the right melancholic buttons. Thankfully, the album boasts far more highlights too.

‘Wasteful Is Love’ is another brilliantly adventurous moment; here they mix beats and folk guitar like The Notwist but then deliver blissful dreampop choruses in between. The trio can really deliver a wonderful racket when they put their minds to it too. ‘Dark Dark Woods’ begins like a lullaby but ends in a terrific coda of full-on discordant riffing whilst the dense soundscapes on ‘Your Fingers Bright’ make a strong case for a glum rock revival, should we ever need it. Then there’s the storming title track which gives folk music a right good kicking and finally ‘Nature’s Arms’ which – apropos of nothing – resembles early OMD.

Due to their penchant for the mystical world and their alternative approaches to the song format, Beatglider may be the closest Britain gets to that equally contrary LA band Liars. Definitely, records like ‘Witches’ should be applauded for their willingness to subvert music, especially when the results are as edifying as this.

Web Sites:
Beatglider Official Site
Beatglider MySpace

Further Listening:
Junkboy, The Notwist, Liars, Pilots Of Japan

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