When The Besnard Lakes first crossed our radar back in 2007, it seemed like the hip thing to do in indie rock was to sound like a drugged out version of The Beach Boys. Bands like Panda Bear did it and when folks got their first listen to The Besnard Lakes, they lumped their sound in with Panda Bear and other groups of the moment who discoved their parents old Beach Boys albums and added a dark veil to the approach.
And sure, the harmonies are really a nod to Brian Wilson and the sound he is most known for, but to simply stamp that label on a group like The Besnard Lakes and walk away is really not fair at all. Their 2007 album, …Are The Dark Horse was just that, a underdog type of record that gained quite a following over time. The record seemed to reward fans for patience as it payed off in a big way if you actually took the time to listen to it and discovered all it had to offer.
And now here we are in 2010, and The Besnard Lakes are back. Although this time, they won’t creep up and surprise, but instead are placed on the crowded shelf along with other bands we fell for and then were disappointed by when they followed that effort. However, I’m here to tell you right now, that not only is the new album from The Besnard Lakes not a disappointment, but it’s an album that very well could separate them from the underdogs and push them to the front of the pack.
All the things that made the last album great are present, but there is an epic quality to tunes like “Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent” as it builds and crescendos and then builds right back again. The press release claims the album is more Dennis Wilson than Brian, and I tend to agree after repeated listens. It just carries that quality that makes me want to hear it again, and again. And in this age of new music every minute to distract the listener and create a fickle attention span, ..Are The Roaring Night makes me want to put on the LP and only move to turn it over when it’s done playing.
The album gets an official release from Jagjaguwar Records on March 9th, but you can listen to and download the excellent song “Albatross” right now.