Bark Psychosis

Codename: Dustsucker
Bark Psychosis
Codename: Dustsucker

2LP gatefold. Chances are you're acquainted with Bark Psychosis's UK post-rock keystone Hex, but not with their less fawned-over follow-up: 2004's brooding, bloated, often brilliant Codename: Dustsucker. Having borrowed Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock's world-weary chamber-jazz palette wholesale for Hex, here they went one step further, enlisting Talk Talk's Lee Harris on drums - a move both logical and, you can't help feel, a little bit creepy (the musical equivalent of trying on Mummy's dress...). Anyway, his signature fluid, rolling parts are class as you'd expect, while Graham Sutton's semi-improvised, melody-shy vocals exude lethargic gravitas (think a drug-numbed, barely-bothered David Sylvian) where they once just sounded directionless, the use of electronics is subtle and powerful, and there are flashes of outright genius in 'The Black Meat' (shoegaze-goes-Sketches-of-Spain) and the deathbed Balearica / Maxinquaye-isms of 'INQB8TR'. In the end Dustsucker's many frustrations and imperfections might make it a more interesting record ultimately than Hex; either way, it's a fascinating swansong, not only for Sutton's troubled group but for modernist, textural, studio-as-instrument art-rock in general.






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