Beak, 'Beak' (Ipecac)

Critical Mass
Label: Ipecac

by Barry Walters

Portishead leader Geoff Barrow teams with fellow noise enthusiasts Billy Fuller (Fuzz Against Junk) and Matt Williams (Team Brick) to bang out an uneven krautrock tribute album live in the studio without overdubs or fussy fixes. The sprightly, percussive jams that replicate Neu!'s motorik grooves don't need 'em. Neither does the cut that pounds like slow-motion Black Sabbath. But the extended drones and Barrow's mumbly, echo-drenched vocals suggest a vanity project in reverse. There's got to be a happy medium between his main group's perfectionist trip-hop and this.



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