Album Mini-review: The Besnard Lakes — A Coliseum Complex Museum
File Next to: Flaming Lips, Polyphonic Spree, Rain Parade
Long song titles, albums with epic names, and a gauzy space-rock vibe are the hallmarks of this Montréal group, newly expanded to a six-piece. They were last heard from on a 2015 EP, Golden Lion; only its title track is repeated on A Coliseum Complex Museum. The group’s fifth album finds them continuing to hone and refine their impressionistic sonic approach. That effort does result in a slight lack of variety; put another way, if you like album opener “The Bray Road Beast,” you’ll dig the seven tunes that follow it. Like label mates Black Mountain, they craft a sound that’s equal parts reserved distance and a swirling, psychedelic stew. Creaky, slightly-out of tune Mellotrons (are there other kinds?) compete with chugging rhythms that evoke both 80s paisley underground and Yellow Submarine-era Beatles are their wide-screen, technicolor peak.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.