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Artist
Bark Psychosis
ReleaseProduct
Hex
Label
Fire Records
Catalogue Number
FIRELP084
Release Date
July 12, 2024

The legend says that music journalist and author Simon Reynolds coined the genre term “post-rock” in his review for Bark Psychosis’s debut 1994 album Hex. Although the term had been in circulation for some time already, the legend still holds true: Hex is a keystone album that brought the more experimental sounds of rock music to the forefront. The London four piece stunned with early singles and EPs, constantly shifting in sound as their lineup did over the years until only frontman Graham Sutton was left. Falling into a ten year hiatus shortly after release, the band could have easily been forgotten, but the growing cult following around Hex ensured it would become the blueprint for all things post-rock.

Solemn piano and strings waltz us in on opening ‘The Loom’, taking a near gothic stance until rhythm and slick bass usher in vibrant movements, with hand drums and sonorous synth driving the track further into unexpected directions. A combination of atmospheric jams at St John's Church, Stratford, and heavy sampling make these stylistic glides possible, with a rich repertoire of instrumentation from trilling, racing, energising trumpets to cascading sequences of plucks and melodica, wavering in the heat haze of effects-drenched guitar tones with interpersonal lyrics appealing to rock music's more introspective sides.

After gradually slowing into a poignant bed of strings, an endless reverb hit sidesteps the album into the deep hypnotic groove of ‘Big Shot’. Drum rhythms hammer like a construction site as twinkling vibraphone adds a dreamy texture to the syrupy bass. ‘Fingerspit’ presents jazzy susurrations from which gale force guitar shreds emerge, with piano chords dismantled in the ensuing hurricane where the track's tension reaches its midway peak, before dispersing in the ambience of ‘Pendulum Man’, in which minimalist passages of guitar plucks swing from left to right, with synth drones and glistening reverb making the air vibrate.

Hex is an apt title for a record of this calibre; Bark Psychosis seem to come from another world entirely with their mesmerising atmospheres.

Track List

  1. The Loom
  2. A Street
  3. Absent Friend
  4. Big Shot
  5. Fingerspit
  6. Eyes & Smiles
  7. Pendulum Man

Bark Psychosis

Fire Records

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