There’s something a little sinister about The Besnard Lakes. Much like the horse that graces the album cover of The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse, their sound has a fiery soul that gallops at a slow, deliberate pace, but is full of derivative passion. Drawn-out, yet elaborate strides of distorted guitars and chorused vocals keep the sound harnessed, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t trying to escape. In a way, the restraint on speed allows them to be more focused and achieve more on each beat. The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse, their second album, stands strongly on distorted, throwback rock with wildly, vaporous guitar solos and vocals adding a true touch of spirit.
The Besnard Lakes’ prowess lies in their ability to conjure several famous old-school signatures and melt them into modern technology and krauty effects. 60’s sounds from Beach Boys to Pink Floyd get re-fitted with advanced production and splashed with a husband-and-wife duo’s vocal arrangements. “Disaster” starts off with a milky orchestral strum with Beach Boys-style vocals before giving way to a heavier, sandpaper romp. “For Agent 13” is a spacy organ lullaby that drifts into a more affected underground anthem. “And You Lied To Me” is along these same lines, but finishes with a razor’s edge guitar solo. Each song on the album has a way of rising up and taking over.
The Besnard Lakes’ dark, intruiging nature channels power from forward-thinking rock acts of the past, and keeps the momentum going with edgy twists on vocals and guitar effects. The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse is slow and strong, with relatively little variation on its theme of smoldering psychedelic rock. It’s dense enough that it’ll take a few listens to discover its intricacies, and slick enough that you’ll actually want to hit play again.