UTR044 | CD / LP | 9 tracks, 31 mins | November 2010 | Buy
'Spen Beck' is a marathon sprinted. Eight songs in thirty minutes that cover an enthusiastic amount of ground. Opening with "Four Principles of Public Speaking", the album leaps for life among the tumbling rhythms, racing keyboard and robust bass lines.
"Stellar's Sea Cow" swells with harmonious vocals, oscillator wobble and glitter shuffle relentlessness, drawing on themes of fate and extinction to put its point across. A similar persistent stomp is felt through the album's glorious epic "Untitles" in which Lawrence sings "This ravine is only four feet long but you know that it's a drop that you can't comprehend, you're going to land on your body!". We all end in archaeology and risks are there to be taken.
Whether it's the death defying wonked-out guitar solo in "A Decree" or the morse code stammer of "New Durzi", this album finds inspiration in the abandonment of reason, in the ruins of "North Tripoli", in its interpretation of the present when it's passed into the past.
It's fitting then that 'Spen Beck' closes with the "National Anthem of Cleckhuddersfax" - taking us back to West Yorkshire via Lebanon, its spirit of adventure undiminished by the weight of reflection. With this album Cleckhudderfax have written their names in the prehistoric slime of our origins and what they do next only tomorrow will unearth.