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Led Bib: Umbrella Weather

Dan Bilawsky By

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When you're talking umbrella weather, there's rain and then there's rain. A drizzle and a downpour are two very different beasts, and this most certainly qualifies as the latter. Led Bib opens up the heavenly and hellish skies to create a deluge in sound on this terrifically tempestuous RareNoise date.

Some bands born of radical designs tend to lose their edge over time, blunted and stunted by the individual and collective aging process, but Led Bib hasn't succumbed to that fate. This UK-based bastion of bluster has managed to maintain its artful asperity over the course of its thirteen years, summoning storms and squalls with avant attitude, punk posturing, and free jazz abandon, all the while displaying a level of intuition that eludes all but the most special of the skronking sort. It's a band that's a marvel of design and destruction all at once, crafting tight-knit lines, phrases, and grooves that are ripe for further exploration. But further exploration doesn't mean furthering one idea. It often necessitates a move away from a specific point instead of moving that point forward. You can simultaneously view it as a brilliant design stroke and an act of self-sabotage, where the wrecking ball or sharp left turn are welcomed into songs with open arms. It's as frustrating as it is exhilarating to experience, and it's Led Bib's calling card.

There's no shortage of bristling and brooding music within these twelve tracks, but it would be unfair to tag an adjective or two to a song and call it a day. Far too much is going on within each piece to boil things down to that level. On one number the band might surprise by walking a prayerful-eerie dividing line, descending into a sonic maelstrom, and arriving at a semi-static 4/4 rock vamp ripe for ripping over ("Ceasefire"); another excursion may open on angular saxophones ushering in a slinky martial groove, enter a spacey zone with reduced gravity, and build to a noisy peak ("On The Roundabout"); and a third may materialize as a stately journey for saxophones and bass set against the ocean waves before moving in a foreboding direction that eventually yields atomic levels of energy and an anthemic finish ("Fields Of Forgetfullness"). There are massive dynamic arcs and curve balls in all of these songs, as Led Bib knows how to toy with volume and tension. Ebb, however, is often of less concern than flow in these settings. Bashful this music isn't.

Listeners who've come to know Led Bib through the band's Cuneiform releases can expect the same level of unexpectedness here as on those albums. And those who are knew to the party? Well, lets just say they'll need to buckle their seatbelts to protect themselves from the concussive effects of this music. Led Bib hits hard, jolting the nerves in unforeseen ways.

Track Listing

Lobster Terror; Ceasefire; On The Roundabout; Fields Of Forgetfulness; Too Many Cooks; Women's Power; Insect Invasion; At The Shopping Centre; Skeleton Key To The City; The Boot; Marching Orders; Goodbye

Personnel

Mark Holub: drums; Pete Grogan: alto saxophone; Chris Williams: alto saxophone; Liran Donin: bass; Toby McLaren: keyboards

Album information

Title: Umbrella Weather | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: RareNoiseRecords

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