Soon: Beach Volleyball

“Broadcast”, Beach Volleyball’s extraordinary, elusive debut album has got the experimental edge and sheer beauty of My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless”, but it reminds me a bit of Ride’s “Nowhere” – something about its metallic, rain-swept, ripped timbre, and the particular tenor of the songs’ poppy undercurrents. But really it’s nothing like Ride. Where “Nowhere” had a robustness, an exactitude and a jangliness that ultimately made it quite limited, this is a lot more far-reaching, subtle and profound.

It emerges slowly, hesitantly, like daylight after a very dark night, with grainy, expansive washes of dissonant and shifting sound engulfing a reticent heart. The guitars, bass and drums are knitted together to form a closely-shaded palette that is then used to create a series of richly-textured, layered tales of contact and interference, broken and static-laden transmissions from a failed, disused deep-space outpost. Most of the time even the drums, played minimally or softly or pushed back in the mix, dissolve into the ambient, breathtakingly swirling guitar noise, and the bass is the only instrument left hanging in there, barely holding everything together.

Two thirds of the way through, when the burst of Power Cuts arrives, it’s nothing short of stunning – as are follower First Floor’s machinic pulsations, which ebb and soar magnificently, heartbreakingly.

It’s hard to discern any of the lyrics. Towards the end I think the singer is trying to reassure someone, saying: “I’m not gone, I’m not leaving”. But he says it in such a blur, from such a crushing distance, and so forlornly, that he seems already far, far away.

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3 Responses to Soon: Beach Volleyball
  1. Zo says:

    Nice! However, I wonder if this kind of musical sensitivity, reminiscent of Galaxy 500 on one hand and Cocteau Twins on the other, stands the test of time. If I had heard BV 15 years ago, I would have fallen in love. Now, it seems, I just don’t have the patience. But that’s me. Anyway, nice Blog and thanks for sharing the knowledge!

    Be well!

    • Michal Sapir says:

      On the contrary, to me it feels totally relevant and cutting edge; it goes a lot farther than the bands you mentioned, and breaks grounds that still need breaking. I guess my musical sensitivity hasn’t changed that much…
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Zo says:

    Well, you might be right. its quite possible that I am a bit out of touch. Listening to the song again, it felt that Bark Psychosis and Larmouse would have been better past references for the song.
    Music is always relevant, so (post-)ROCK ON, and thank *you* for your reply!

    Be well.

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