Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Belong - Common Era (2011, Kranky)

Belong has long been an FG favourite, from their crumbling, fringed, shoegazing debut – a cloudy guitar-blanket resembling the remnants of My Bloody Valentine smudged and erased down to their earthen core – and their various EP lengthed follow-ups (all notable, but most notable among them perhaps, in relation to this record at least, being Colorloss Record, a stab and 1960’s pop songcraft melted away in the manner that Belong so expertly melts things away). So now, what is it, 5, 6 years later? It is only now that this Louisiana duo has followed up officially with their second album, Common Era. And, surprisingly to all (to me at least), they have leapt quite a distance from their original footing on October Language. These are…songs. Like with lyrics, and drums. The smudged out, erased My Bloody Valentine vibe honed in on in the sound of their first record has been redrawn to more particularly follow that original MBV sound – an erasure and redraw. The result, spawning from a band whose foremost focus has always been sound and texture, is the memory of a song, even as it sits right there in front of you, plain as day: Verse, chorus, verse, ect. I applaud the boys on their willingness to branch out, to risk. I think it’s paid off ripely. And while I still favor much of their early work (Same Places (Slow Version) in particular), Common Era is more than welcome here, and has, as all good records should, increased in its impact and listenability with every spin.

belong 'perfect life' by kranky

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