Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

  The Black Meat parts 1 & 2  
  Bark Psychosis  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:

Bark Psychosis released a few stunning yet very hard to locate post-rock albums in the early 90s. They were one of the first bands in the genre, following hot on the heels of Talk Talk and predating Mogwai, Godspeed You Black Emperor and the like. And, after a long period of silence, they returned in 2004 with another few extremely difficult to locate releases.

The Black Meat parts 1 and 2 is a 10" record, and the first thing from the latest instance of Bark Psychosis that i have been able to locate. As is typical for this band, the music is lovely and intricate. There is one "song" per side of the disc.

The Black Meat part 1 fills side A. This tune blends jazz, ambient droning, and acoustic guitar pop to wonderful effect. It starts out with a simple organ riff, then guitars and clattering percussion come in. Vocalist Graham Sutton adds an understated vocal melody, and the song moves along under a nice rhythm. Every element seems rightly in its place, and there are a lot of elements, from layers of guitars and bass, to cello, assorted percussion (they got sleighbells!), piano, and eventually a nice muted trumpet. The song ebbs and flows in an organic way that seems typical of Bark Psychosis. They make this look easy.

The b-side of the disc contains The Black Meat part 2. This part starts off with a powerful trumpet melody carried over from side one, and the percussion here is more drum oriented, but the drumming is recorded flatly, making it a dull thudding behind the trumpet, the strummed guitar, and melodica (or one of those kinds of instruments). The whole thing descends into an ambient haze for the last few minutes, thus bringing the release to a rather peaceful end.

Overall, i am very impressed. Bark Psychosis seem to follow the philosophy of quality over quantity, not releasing a lot of stuff, but making sure that what they do release sounds top notch. Now, i have been actively searching for their new stuff for a few months now, and this 10" is all that i have managed to find, so let's just say that the most challenging part of the Bark Psychosis listening experience is actually finding something to listen to. After that, it's all luscious tones and interesting instrumentation.

Since this is a vinyl release i have a few comments. Firstly, the packaging is insanely minimal: a clear 10" vinyl record with a plain white sleeve encased in a clear vinyl bag emblazoned with a simple sticker. No speed is indicated anywhere, but the vocals only make sense at 45 RPM.

Overall, this is simply lovely and i cannot recommend this band enough. If you are lucky enough to encounter one of their releases, i urge you to snap it up.

Related Links:

You can read about the band on their website.


Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Album Review menu.