Beak
Eyrie EP

While about 75-80 percent of this ‘job’ is reviewing known or established bands in the same few genres and simply quantifying what most readers already feel, there’s often something that comes along that’s completely, new unexpected and rewarding. Such is the case with Chicago’s Beak. Some research shows that the band features members of a defunct Chicago band I’ve never heard of called The Timeout Drawer and the ‘label’, Someoddpilot is actually a graphic design company owned by drummer  Chris Eichenseer.

Regardless, the 5 tracks displayed on this fine EP display some stunning, sludgy  post hardcore/post rock/screamo that’s about as finely crafted yet unique as any EP I’ve heard in some time and one of the rare times, I have no real comparison to make, except maybe The Circle Takes the Square.

It’s really been a long time that something like this grabbed my ear. Its got a tone and  presence that I simply have not heard in a long time if ever. The guitars are gritty and sludgy but layered with an almost cosmic ethereal clarity and layering that’s unlike any post -anything I’ve heard. The vocals are a throaty, harsh, black-ish hardcore scream with no effects or forced brutality- just emotion and conviction. Then there’s the actual songs, 25 minutes and 5 tracks of atonal, feisty crusty riffs, littered with some truly astounding moments of ambiance and melodic textures.

Opener “Angry Mother of Bones”  is a perfect intro to the band’s sound as it starts with a caustic rough and tumble but its last two minutes is a gorgeous, shimmery climax that’s to die for. The same superb dichotomy can also be found in the EPs standout track s  “Hands Collide” and closer “The Weight & Time”. And while having some of the tenets of typical post rock via ebbs builds and crumbling peaks, it sounds far more unique and less cookie cutter than many of their contemporaries. Throw in a requisite rangy long song “Men at Arms” and a little more experimental track in “Billions of Eyes” and you’ve got a pretty enthralling 25 minutes of music.

It’s out of the blue releases like this that makes this worthwhile and being able to expose releases like this to a larger audience (i.e the 36 of you that read this site) makes it s much more rewarding than my 678th tech death or deathcore review.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 28th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: whotoldyouhow

    saw Beak open for Killing Joke in Chicago in December of 2010 and totally enjoyed them!


  2. Commented by: Jay

    Great review Erik. This one was also a surprise for me when it came across my review table! Glad to see someone else diggin’ it!


  3. Commented by: Cal

    Cool record – thanks for turning me on to them.


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