“It’s weird, timeless, gloom funk where ancient-sounding electronics phase in Silver Apples woose-glory, krautrock grooves melt into This Heat avant-punk minimalism, where Devo performs through a mouth full of cottonballs and a stomach of Codiene.” –Spin Best 40 LPs of 2012 so far.
“The slow build of “Kidney” feels: The move from a simmer into a raging boil feels inevitable and perfectly positioned in the track’s running time. The push-pull of “Wulfstan II” has that same purposeful embracing of the quiet/loud dynamic. Nothing about the songs shock; you just give yourself over to the waves of volume and incident. What will surprise you is how much more of it you’ll want to hear even after a full seven minutes of sound.” –Alternative Press
“The results are impressive, if disconcerting, as they build on Portishead’s noirish textures and- with vocals buried so deep in the mix as to make them unintelligible- take a turn for the darker.” – The Observer
“Krautrock is synonymous with a certain rhythmic precision and propulsion, but BEAK> don’t just lock into a motorik beat and activate the cruise control. Rather, they see the music as part of a broader continuum, digging up its roots in the frazzled psychedelia of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, funk, and musique concrete...” – Pitchfork
“There is no-one as adept at recreating the classic sound of modernity as Geoff Barrow, chief architect of Portishead and, since 2009, motorik side-project Beak> – essentially Portishead purged of complications for the ultimate modernist sound. Teaming up again with Invada regulars bassist Billy Fuller and synths/guitarist Matt Wilkinson, after 20 years practice it’s with Beak> that Barrows has finally perfected the 1973 look, and all the philosophical iconography of post’68 thinking.
Divested of their debut’s fanciful post-rock elements the leaner, faster, harder, crueler, cruder and more efficient >> is truly the stuff of infinite forward momentum, with the eternal motorik bop as the pulse of modern progress.” -Fact Mag
“The gigantic stoner riffs of ‘Wulfstan II’ pay homage to another of Barrow’s great loves, the doom metallers Sun O))), but the dextrous organ line also nods to the Doors, as does the mournful Morrison-esque vocal intonation. ‘Deserters’ is close in spirit to the evocative pastoral psych-rock of Broadcast, while the churning, proggy ‘Kidney’ is a disconcerting closing statement… Barrowdoesn’t go through the motions – and >> is definitely not the sound of a band in decline.”- The Quietus
“The multiplying rhythms combining and spinning on top of each other provide a dense network to get lost in, as well as the vocals leading you down the rabbit hole to get there.” Consequence of Sound. Barrow’s voice comes out of a low, dark cave, echoing and reverberating. He’s got a synth down there, twinkles flashing out every once in a while, and a couple of friends to harmonize with. But its the bass, the simple drumming, and the crunching guitar that drive things.”- Consequence of Sound
“Their second album sounds like Kraftwerk’s Autobahn driven by tractor.” – The Independent
“Beak> know how to shift gear without unlocking the groove, shifting an octave on the synth and simply adding a hi-hat to increase the urgency of the beat with unshowy precision. On ‘Liar’, one elasticated upper-register bass note that cuts through the looping low-end notes and bustling tom fills acts as a simple yet mesmeric focal point around which the addition of scatty synth arpeggios culminate in a dizzying final flurry. Without undermining the worth of the sort of material that forms Beak>’s bread and butter, >> really hit its peaks when it blurs genre distinctions.” –Drowned in Sound
“BEAK> is his krautrock outlet, but the trio’s Neu!-like pulsations are boosted by droning synths (‘The Gaul’), crunchy guitar (‘Wulfstan II’), suffocating bass (‘Kidney’) and disquietingly distant vocals (‘Deserters’). Menacing and paranoid, this second album makes satisfying sense in 2012…” – NME
“Eschewing the samples that gave Portishead their character, this is a live trio of inaudible vocals, repeated single notes, hypnotic, unchanging beats and bursts of all-out noise. Spinning Top sounds like a homage to Tago Mago, the 1971 album by improvisational pioneers Can, while the constant beats and slowly shifting notes of Yatton could have fallen off an album by Neu!” – The Times
“Wulfstan II Barrow’s vocal intones like a particularly ominous Ian Curtis, inhabiting an echoing space beneath the deliciously growling bass riff, and the presence of English psychedelia pervades the murky Egg Dog.” – Music OMH
“Barrow revels in pure atmosphere and mood; songs bubble along in the shadows with a subtle change here and there. At times, like on the throbbing “Yatton,” BEAK> sound like a warped, parallel-universe Radiohead if that band was consumed by its arty tendencies. The band creates some pretty frightening soundscapes—“Ladies Mile,” “The Gaol,” and the back half of album closer “Kidney”—by deploying almost overwhelming dissonance.” -Prefix
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