Tuesday, October 1, 2013

REVIEW: Bailterspace - Trinine

Balancing dense, chugging riffs, droning shoegaze, psychedelic swirl and blasts of noise with infusions of melody, the New Yorkers from New Zealand Bailterspace have been one of the better, if not better known, bands working the territory also occupied by Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.  The origins of the band were a Christchurch band called The Gordons, formed in 1980.  Then they were Future Shock, then Nelsh Bailter Space, and then Bailter Space.  The band moved to New Zealand's north island, and then far, far North to New York City.  They began a long hiatus in 1999, but returned with Strobophere via Fire Records in 2012.  And their return to the scene without loss of form is emphasized with the release this week of Trinine, also on Fire Records.

The album is a showcase for the Bailterspace's strengths.  While there is plenty of subtle interplay and intelligent exploration of layered textures and intertwined sounds (in my view, more of that than on Strobophere), when the band has a choice of seducing you softly or drenching you in sonic waves while you enjoy the nuanced touches, the latter is chosen.  Is that a good thing?  In the hands of this band, yes, yes it is.  And without point fingers, I'll go so far as to say that Trinine's strengths illustrate that much of the current shoegaze bands lack dynamic vision.  While this album is uniformly good, the title track, "Tri5", "In the World" and the following track, "Films of You", could be offered as a course in how to do it right.

Bailterspace for Trinine is the original core members: Brent McLachlan (drums/samples), Alister Parker (guitars/vocals/samples), and John Halvorsen (bass/guitar/samples).

Fire Records

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