The trio Belasco from London came together 12 years ago and has left some traces on the planet: four albums, hundreds of concerts, songs for Hollywood movie "Incubus" and the U.S. TV series "One Tree Hill" as well as for the video game "Fifa 2007". Now releases the fifth long-player "Transmuting", where you mention the experience in songwriting and composing immediately. There are no newcomers at work, but a band that knows exactly what they want reducing unnecessary ballast. It´s about time: 5 years have passed since their acclaimed last work, "61".
The CD starts very dynamic. The direction is clear: Indie rock with a slight element of U2 in the vocals and a small portion of melancholy à la Eels - and some cite Coldplay, Radiohead or Interpol. Belasco have in the world already a fan base and a fairly respectable record sales in the five-figure range, but the international stardom with filled arenas still didn´t break through. Listening to "Transmuting" makes suspect why: they play energetic, imaginative and professional, the melodies develop beautiful, each song without a bad patch is built up consistently and varied - but it somehow lacks the little bit of personality that awakes the recognition factor "ah, sounds like Belasco". Some familiar musical reminiscences are inside and sound good, but the big, heavy hammer, which expresses "this is Belasco!" will not fall.
But the fact remains: Who loves to listen to really pretty Indie rock with tuneful melodies, funky to dirty bass lines, great voice with considerable range in the expression between elegiac and powerful and exciting guitar parts - this album, it could be. The songs roll smoothly down the ear canal, great to chill to the melodic, a little plaintive rockin´. Towards the end of the album the guitar intro to "What is it" awakes associations to Anathema. And the last song "Eyes" sounds through its relaxed, airy, almost psychedelic kind even Scandinavian. The electronic processing of the singing allows experiments; this relaxed freedom with some freaky tunes is missed in the other songs which strive very disciplined for perfection. Thus, "Eyes" is a terrific nightcap from which one might wish that it would accompany inside this music.
Tim Brownlow - Vocals, Guitars
Duff Battye - Bass Guitar
Bill Cartledge - Drums, Vocals