The Besnard Lakes
The Besnard Lakes Are The Last Of The Great Thunderstorm Warnings
Flemish Eye/FatCat/Full Time Hobby
On their sixth album, The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings, Montreal’s The Besnard Lakes demonstrates its studio chops and musicianship in equal sums. TBLATLOTGTW is modern rock woven together by psychedelic, progressive, and classic rock, and at 72 minutes, it flows effortlessly from beginning to end.
Introducing the story, a glittering hum of churning keyboards and droopy guitar strums part the prairie fog mists of “Blackstrap” Mountain. Gentle voices are “waiting on this tower to call her”, and ground control wryly rigged two buttons from an old telephone through a couple guitar amps. The earth calls back via Jace Lasek’s spacey vocals in “Raindrops,” its plaintive, bass lead progression culminating in an angelic, harmonized Olga Goreas vocal epiphany. With densely-packed swells of indeterminate instrumental origin, no percussion, and whacked-out falsetto cloudbursting, the challenging “Christmas Can Wait” exposes the album’s lack of coherent lyrical signposts. What are they are going on about?
The need to know becomes dichotomous on album apex “Our Heads, Our Hearts On Fire Again.” It almost doesn’t matter; the 3/4 waltz and uplifting, celestial harmonies trigger catharsis anyway—such a gift. “New Revolution” returns to traditional rock rhythmic territory, if that also involves contrapuntal bass leads and gospel-like choral passages. We finally get our narrative clarity when “The Father Of Time Wakes Up” and enunciates, “With love there is no death”, followed by a cosmic guitar solo that at last draws the line connecting Boston (the band) to Prince.
Every track is generous, beautiful, and essential. If you use music as medicine, this record will give you what you need. If you want to be overtaken, transported, and delivered safely back home, TBLATLOTGTW is yours.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: THE BESNARD LAKES – THE BESNARD LAKES ARE THE LAST OF THE GREAT THUNDERSTORM WARNINGS
Charles T. Stokes