The Black Delta Movement - Preservation - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Black Delta Movement - Preservation

by Rob Taylor Rating:9 Release Date:2018-08-03
The Black Delta Movement - Preservation
The Black Delta Movement - Preservation

The Black Delta Movement are disciples of psych gods, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and whilst their music certainly approximates that sound, it is more multi-faceted, owing as much to brit-rock as it does to stoner rock. Numerous reference points come to mind such as Swervedriver and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, especially the former’s scuzzy trips. Guitar lines with that melodic buzz-saw effect, and like BRMC, menacing wails of book-ended guitar sounds.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t like Preservation much at first. I thought BDM were pretenders, just another Black Angels in thrall to the 13th Floor Elevators, and sounding like many other psych-rock wannabes. I’m a hard critic at times, but I give myself 3-4 listens at least because you simply don’t always hear everything at first, or your mood just doesn't click with the music. The Black Delta Movement are important because they’re English, and like good English rock music, they write an excellent hook, and get on with the job with little fucking around. They shimmer, they soar, they slam on the accelerator when they see a clear road ahead, they jam sparingly, and they’ve learnt a lot from 1960s psych rock in providing user friendly choruses for the crowd to sing along to live. I saw a Sydney band recently, Grinding Eyes, and they remind me very much of The Black Delta Movement. The thing that distinguished bands like them I thought, was that both bands learned the ropes from years of playing live together. It shows. The sound is massive. It reverberates, sounds cavernous. Like really loud small venue acoustics, it's an onslaught.

The best tracks on Preservation are every bit as good as anything the above mentioned bands deliver. ‘Hunting Ground’ uses the vocal echo those familiar with The Elevators / Black Angels will know, but the guitar choruses are magnificently placed. Rather than being a culmination, or an epilogue to the track, they flash at regular intervals, generously and devastatingly. You know, sometimes you want the good parts to be repeated, not rationed out, as is the tendency with artier endeavours.

‘Let the Rain Come’ is deceptively simple, and yet has a thumping momentum. In spite of its dark tone, it delivers head nodding ecstasy in spades. ‘Ivory Shakes’ shares the rhythmic drive of John Bonham and John Paul Jones, and again this is perhaps another example of the band’s interests lying just outside psych-music. There’s a bit of jaunt and a slew of fun references, and this is what makes Preservation one of the best rock albums of 2018.

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