Bell X1 : Bloodless Coup

<img src="" alt="Bell X1 : Bloodless Coup" /><span style="font-style: normal">If less easy to get your head around than </span><i>Blue Lights</i><span style="font-style: normal">, </span><i>Bloodless</i><span style="font-style: normal"> is a more...
Bell X1 : Bloodless Coup
7.8 BellyUp

Bell X1 : Bloodless Coup Ireland’s Bell X1 began with Damien Rice on lead vocals, before Rice left and the band became ‘Damien Rice’s first band.’  Then they hit it big in their native Eire, but in America were best known for having their song “Eve, the Apple of My Eye” playing while Mischa Barton and Olivia Wilde shared a lesbian kiss on The O.C. (remember Mischa Barton?  If she’d been more open to playing bisexual characters, then maybe she’d still be on FOX like Wilde…).  But after the departure of guitarist/keyboardist Brian Crosby in 2008, the band upped their game from the middling Flock (QRO review) by introducing an interesting tech element that evoked The Talking Heads on 2009’s Blue Lights On the Runway (QRO review).  They might have taken that element a bit too far at times on their latest, Bloodless Coup, but it still works.

Precise keyboard beats and tones pervade Coup, sometimes too prominently, such as on opener “Hey Anna Lena”, single “Velcro”, “Sugar High”, and others.  But “Velcro” reaches the evocative yet also hook-laden heights of such Blue Lights pieces as “The Great Defector” (QRO video).  There’s a Talking Heads-meets-disco way about “4 Minute Mile”, while the following “Safer Than Love” feels like a post-version of “4 Minute” (in the ‘post-punk’ or ‘post-rock’ sense), an interesting, if disjointed piece.  And “Haloumi” is a dark and ominous funk stroll through the Big Apple.

There are, however, a few natural pieces that prove particularly nice changes on Coup, none more so than “The Trailing Skirts of God” – both a great shift on the record, and a great song.  If less easy to get your head around than Blue Lights, Bloodless is a more singular record, and the band has continued their post-Crosby increase in accomplishment.

MP3 Stream: “The Trailing Skirts of Love”

{audio}mp3/files/Bell X1 – The Trailing Skirts of Love.mp3{/audio}

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