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“The organic progression and sonic surprises in 270 Stories is in keeping with the philosophy of a group where nothing is set in stone.”
London trio Belleruche are back with their third full-length 270 Stories. If its predecessors fell short on variety in their approach, the same cannot be said for a much scratchier, punkier new album, which has been padded with some very funky bass.
Ricky Fabulous has outgrown the safe realm of blues and soul riffs for short, grungy bass chords, while DJ Modest mixes a wider range of tempos and drum-breaks, increasing the focus on his ear-catching audio squiggles. With such varied production, one moment you could be engulfed into a world of ballsy guitars in ‘Cat in a Dog Suit’, and the next the almost melancholic soundscape of ‘Ginger Wine’ carry you in a whole different serene direction.
Holding this wide range together, is the captivating voice of front lady Kathrin de Boer, which remains a grounding constant and seem to be resurrected from a ’50’s soul record. Her multi-layered tones weave effortlessly through each track, projecting seemingly improvised and rather cryptic lyrics. You even have her experiment with some rhythmic rap in the penultimate ‘Gold Rush,’ and ‘Fuzz Face’ swaggers with a rock attitude and grows akin to the tougher vocals of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with a 90s feel.
With such a cohesive and enjoyable collection, it is difficult to single out favourites, as each moves you through such varied emotions. However, lead single ‘Clockwatching’ requires a special mention; as do the aggressive strings of ‘3 Amp Fuse’ along with the hypnotic sound of ‘Bobby,’ whose waxy lines and quirky synth recall Bonobo’s recent collaborations with Andreya Triana.
The organic progression and sonic surprises in 270 Stories is in keeping with the philosophy of a group where nothing is set in stone; making the collection a definite grower, and a highly recommended album.
Words Anisha Jogani
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