A horrible hack

Beaten Awake

Let's Get Simplified

Year Released: 2006
Format: CD
Label: Audio Eagle
 
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Apr 4, 2008
This album is a couple of years old, but seeing as nobody knows a shit about this band, and that people involved have played in Harriet the Spy, Six Parts Seven, and Man I Fell In Love With, and it's fucking amazing, I am going to do a review anyway. In addition, this record comes out on Audio Eagle, a label which involves former Donut Friends guru Jamie Stillman. Donut Friends is one of the great labels of the 1990s DIY era, so you know you can trust this dude.

Ok, Beaten Awake. First up, forget that Harriet the Spy is connected to this band, and focus on Man I Fell In Love With. If you enjoyed that bands most excellent shoegaze LP from several years ago, you will be on good footing for Beaten Awake. Beaten Awake snitch those gorgeous, twinkly guitar parts, and filter them through tired vocalled indie rock, think MIFILW crossed with the Wrens. Seriously. If I ever read a review that said there was a band like that, it would blow my mind. And now there is an actual band that sounds like that. You even get some of the great wall of shoegaze electronic effects of MIFILW, shimmering across the repetitious, spot on guitars, hypnotising me into wide, drunken grins.

There are two different vocalists, one of them has a deeper, yet somehow wobbly style, bringing an Ugly Casanova type sound to their songs, the other is a little more on solid ground. Either way, whoever is singing here, you get guitar based songs that raise the hairs. The vocal / guitar combinations that the band has somehow summoned up, is the exact style of indie rock that I always imagine bands should be playing, yet they never are. It's morose, slack, shambling, pretty, melodic, heart breaking... all the type of shit that I wish I could be listening to but am rarely treated to from new bands. Amidst all this, the band finds time to casually fling in slacker pop gems such as "Goin' Nowhere", I am perplexed as to how they manage to key on to what I would consider to be the base elements of great indie music, and just blast out great songs in each style they try their hand at. There is only one weak song on here, "The Tiger's Tale", which is a confusing mess of the band's typical style gone a bit wrong. Not really sure what happened there.

Beaten Awake are one of those rare indie rock bands that gather together all the great aspects of their genre and then shovel them out consistently in virtually every single fucking song they write. This is a genius LP, on a par with the likes of Meadowlands, We Are the Birds That Stay, and Keep It Like A Secret. That is how fucking good this album is, please believe it. If you like indie rock forget whatever shit Pitchfork and Drownedinsound are trying to peddle you off the back of the advertising dollar, because you need to go out and get "Let's Get Simplified" right now. GO ON, OR I WILL STAB YOU.
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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