Belgrado are one of Barcelona’s finest post-punk groups, and Obraz is their third album. Sometimes they apply the lessons of dub in a way that might remind you of The Clash; at other times, they go full coldwave. They always have sharp edges though. 10-track LP on La Vida Es Un Mus, featuring an illustrated booklet.
LP £17.49 MUS127
LP on La Vida Es Un Mus. Includes 28-page illustrated booklet.
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The majority of guitar bands in 2016 are possessed by the post-punk of the past, and Belgrado are not the ghostbusters we need. Rather, they continue to make a moody, nimble and rhythmic punk music that carefully replicates the footprints of every record in the post-punk canon. Is it fine? It’s fine. The music is enjoyable and they tread carefully enough for the dividends to pay off: as well as sounding like a flashier replica of one of its favourite records, it also sounds fluid, moving quite expertly between familiars.
‘Obraz’ is at its best when it follows after the chirpier, more playful sides of its genre, as on “Wiatr”, in which the bouncy bassline comes first -- as if to announce a Talking Heads reverence -- before the crackling guitars and echoing vocals set down a more serious debeneur. The band are more concerned with mood-ifying the riff than making it good in itself, which is kinda interesting: it booms in and fades out just as quick, feeding the record’s fleeting atmosphere.
Some nice excursions from the post-punk homeland add to ‘Obraz’ as an atmospheric piece, with the wonderful interlude “Krajobraz” combining shimmering effects and wobbly, lopsided instrumentation to create an alien landscape before the rhythmically tight “Raz Dwa” sees the band find themselves again. The chaotically built echo chamber “No Ten Czas” suggests Belgrado could turn their favourite genre into a stranger if they wanted, that they could use post-punk to jump into a brand new abyss. For that, ‘Obraz’ is very much worth your time.
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