Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not Quite What I Was Expecting

Two years on from The Express and three since their blazing debut, Turntable Soul Music, UK trio Belleruche have released 270 Stories (on the always-on-point Tru Thoughts). I had to go back and listen to the first two records after hearing 270 Stories for the first time because I wasn't quite sure it was the same band. Sonically, the trio have shifted a bit from a sound that their debut's title nailed on the head (with its warm soul vocals, turntablism and in-the-background guitar work) to something a little harder. Belleruche have run a piece of sandpaper across their smoothly polished sound leaving some gritty, rough patches. "3 Amp Fuse" and "Fuzz Face" (video below) are a far cry from Turntable Soul Music's "Minor Swing" or even The Express' "Anything You Want - Not That."
There are still traces of the band they used to be ("Ginger Wine" and "Gold Rush" in particular) but the changes aren't so much a jarring transition as they are a measured progression for Belleruche. And while vocalist Kathrin deBoer has been the center of attention for the group, the new record finds guitarist Ricky Fabulous taking a larger share of the spotlight as so much of the album lives or dies by his work ("Cat In A Dog Suit" where he's all alone at the 2 minute mark, for one).
It may take a couple listens, and a lessening of the attachment to their first two records, but Belleruche have recorded one of the best records I've heard this fall and I strongly encourage you to check it out.

For now, check out the sweet new video for "Fuzz Face," made from over 4000 photocopies. Seriously.

And here's a little something to satiate your ear appetite - an Asthmatic Astronaut remix of "You're Listening To The Worlds" from The Liberty EP, released prior to 270 Stories. And the link to a mix by DJ Modest for good measure.

Don't forget to check out Belleruche's Myspace page and website.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

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