Beggar's House: 'Behold the monster'
(2015, Lengua Armada)
New studio work recorded by the guys from Utrera (Sevilla, Spain), that keeps the essence of the band, previously shown on Deathwatch beetle (2014). But, this time, it is almost completely off all accessory.
Facing this review is tempting and risky at the same time. First, because it is an album that takes me to familiar places I like to travel often. But also I have the need to label too early, to say in public dangerous words as "it sounds like"... Well, okay, to me it sounds like Seattle in the 90's, like Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and the more unleashed Pearl Jam. I've said it already.
The guys from Beggar's House delve into the dark forest to find the monsters they had been fantasizing about the last two decades. The result which we see at the backcover of Behold the monster. The band, like us, witness what appears. Monsters are not as sophisticated as those of yesteryear, but an inevitable step in their musical path.
- Behold the monster. The album begins with a theoretically quiet song. It serves as an introduction to what is awaiting us and then we started to sense it will be a tense encounter. We can feel it in our bones.
- Growing. Good song -could be a single- which contains some of the most interesting bass lines and guitars of the album. It grows little by little. From a dense beginning, through an evocative bridge, to return briefly to the verse and lead to a grand finale that, in my opinion, they could expand even more, just to build an excellent chorus.
- Lone wolf. The next track is the most danceable of the album. This time they temporarily leave Seattle and the result is just rock.
- Through the woods. A dark and hypnotic song starts with visceral harmonies. Halfway it enters less inhospitable terrain, with some reminiscent of the first Soundgarden or Queens of the Stone Age. I think it'll be greater after more listenings.
- Mesala. Like they say, "there is no secret in this song". The formula could be defined as "indie stoner", passed through the filter of Alice in Chains.
- Driving mirror. Great boot with a couple of good riffs. And vocals doing their thing, building dark, sharp and linear melodies and two voices bridges hovering light. On this occasion a very enjoyable middle passage, with tambourine and a "The Doors atmosphere".
- Crap. The longest track, so far, reaches 4 minutes. It has a less interesting first half, but beware, we got halfway and wise changes begin to happen. First a very singable part -I'd like to enjoy it live- that ends in a powerful riff, in the style of the best of Bleach (Nirvana). Finally, twist with percussion and Latin rhythms for a sort of "grunge santanism".
- III. A direct song on the path of 'Lone Wolf', but faster and more violent. Recommended loud.
- Something. Quiet start this semi-instrumental song, although the band loads it with enough tension to let us know that it will explode sooner or later. That's right, at the end it becomes a punk allegation that borders on the hysterical, reminding their debut album (Beggar's House, 2005).
- Close encounters of the fourth kind. Now, an entirely instrumental song. Beginning with the "whole riff", simple but that brings together the best of each family, through metal, grunge and psychedelia. But surely, I like even more that first progressive change, a half-time that makes you shake your head, unless you're already dead.
- The haze. At this point the band fails to surprise us. However, the song has an important place on the album, bringing us back to their base sound, the main theme and good dubbed voices that, in this case from minute and a half, I found them very "beat" and, as always , successful. Could be a good start for a gig.
- Nazarí. Great song that could have been written by George Harrison for Queens of the Stone Age in 1967, if this temporary turnout had been possible, ahem.
- Brain damage. We reached the longest song by far (8 minutes) and closure. In the intro they take it easy, more content and relaxed than at other moments. They seem to be known owners of one of the most valuable choruses on this album, so they keep it with care until the right time. The trip winds down but beware, darkness takes over when you reach the middle of the track. This is not over at all. Right now they create a seventies sound that I love, as a young Genesis wandering deserts at night. The voltage returns to this false ending that leaves you feeling empty, the same feeling that you have waking up suddenly after an intense dream.
They don't come out intact or completely victorious, but stronger and aware of their own purity
Behold the monster is a recommended album and will be needed to understand the next evolution of Beggar's House. As a futurologist I guess that they'll give us a lot of fun.
Naked, stripped of unnecessary ornaments, they these monsters that threaten so many bands who take elements from recognizable sources. They don't come out intact or completely victorious, but stronger and aware of their own purity.
Text: Alex Belencoso
There's more in https://beggarshouse.bandcamp.com/album/behold-the-monster