Remember the late-90s/early-00s? A dark time. A time full of trucker hats, Sugar Ray, and national hysteria. A time when Portishead didn’t tour, and in fact, many people thought we had heard the last of the merry lads (and lady) from Bristol. And now look at things! It’s 2012! Trucker hats are once again the exclusive province of truckers, Sugar Ray is… back on tour, and national hysteria is um… moving in new directions. It’s branching out. Hey, growth is important, am I right? And Portishead have not only toured extensively and released a stellar third album, but also spawned an exciting side project or two, one of which is Geoff Barrow’s critically acclaimed BEAK>.
BEAK>, the noirish krautrock project of Barrow, Matt Williams, and Billy Fuller just released their second album, known simply as >>. (Pronounce it how you want, I prefer to refer to is as “Robot Boobs, the new album by BEAK>.”) England’s venerable The Independent says that the band’s “second album sounds like Kraftwerk’s Autobahn driven by tractor,” which is — I assume — pretty much the English journalist equivalent of saying that Barrow & co. made a chopped ‘n’ screwed version of an already chopped ‘n’ screwed record. And for our lucky European friends, the perfect opportunity to bust out the syzzurp and get BEAK>ed (I’m sorry) is just around the bend! BEAK> are taking the show on the road this fall, playing several dates in the UK before venturing over to the continent for a few special dates. US fans, take note; the band is planning on making the trip stateside in early 2013.
>>/Robot Boobs is out now on Invada Records in the UK, and Ipecac in the US. If that’s not enough BEAK> for you, however, Invada is releasing a special-edition fabric box set version of the album, complete with bonus disc of 10 glistening previously unreleased tracks from the album sessions. This limited-edition box set will be available exclusively on the band’s November tourdates, and online via BEAK>’s website NOW. You can check out “0898,” one of the previously unreleased tracks, right here.
01. The Gaol
03. Spinning Top
06. Ladies’ Mile
07. Wulfstan II
09.09.12 - Isle of Wight, UK - Bestival
09.14.12 - Lisbon, Portugal - Teatro Maria Matos
11.15.12 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
11.16.12 - Manchester, UK – Deaf Institute
11.17.12 - Glasgow, UK - Stereo
11.18.12 - Dublin, Ireland – Whelan’s
11.21.12 - London, UK – Lexington
11.24.12 - Tours, France – Le Temps Machine
11.25.12 - Paris, France – Bbmix festival at Carré Bellefeuille de Boulogne-Billancourt
12.02.12 - Kortrijk, Belgium – Sonic City Festival