The Besnard Lakes – A Coliseum Complex Museum
Released January 22nd, 2016 on Jagjaguwar Records
The Montreal-based six-piece The Besnard Lakes have by now a rather lengthy history of putting out solid, if at times uninspired, new entries into the pop-prog canon. A Coliseum Complex Museum is no exception. The band mercifully dials back the song lengths that mired 2013’s Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO in a swamp of listener fatigue, cutting them down to a sort of fighting weight that they rarely have achieved elsewhere in their discography. Stylistically it’s a throwback to their best album, 2010’s The Roaring Night: “The Bray Road Beast” and “Golden Lion” could both stand beside such luminaries as “Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent Pt. 2” and “Last Train To Chicago” in relative ease. In a way that’s both the ultimate strength and the ultimate drawback of the record. It’s familiar and easy to slip into, like a pair of worn slippers, but they’re slippers that are starting to get a little thin in the sole, a little ratty along the sides. The Besnard Lakes have proven that they can do this sort of thing easily, but now they need to think about changing it up a bit, or risk an ignominious stagnation.