Bailterspace – Strobosphere

January 01, 1970




The return of Bailterspace to active duty is a surprise, but
a welcome one. Even better, the New Zealand-bred/NYC-based trio has survived
its 13-year hiatus with its signature beautiful noise intact.


Strobosphere kicks
off with “Things That We Found,” which is practically a primer on
Bailterspace’s charms: dissonant guitars, a lush, flowing melody, vocals mixed
more for texture than clarity. After that nod to tradition, the band moves
through all iterations of its long career: stripped back, noisy pop (“Live By
the Ocean,” “No Sense”), spiky postpunk (“Island,” “Dset”), enveloping
psychedelic distortion (the title track), a surprisingly adept Sonic Youth imitation (“Polarize,” though perhaps
“imitation” is unfair, given that, in their original incarnation as the
Gordons, these guys came up in NZ at the same time the Youth was aborning in
New York). Perhaps the most striking tune is “Meeting Place,” which lays back in the
verses with scratchy guitar and upfront vocals, then buries the larynx in layers
of distortion and soaring melody on the chorus.


It’s as if the band is saying, “We’re back and here’s a look
at everything we’re good at doing.” Few bands are as adept
at mixing dissonance and beauty as Bailterspace, and Strobosphere makes a strong case for the band’s continued vitality.



DOWNLOAD: “Meeting Place,” “Things
That We Found,” “Live By the Ocean” MICHAEL TOLAND


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