Long before Portishead’s Geoff Barrow (possibly) ripped off their name, B>E>A>K were Sunderland’s formost bird mask-wearing, trumpet bashing supergroup, formed of members of Field Music, This Aint Vegas and Coal Train. After TAV split a few years back, B>E>A>K have come back into focus, and this free, online-only EP is a clear indicator of why they are one of the UK’s most exciting instrumental rock bands.
First track Diving for Mackerel is a full-blown assault on the senses, as guitars swerve all over the place and timings disappear into thin air. And then there’s the trumpets. This mixes the best of US mid-90s math rock power with a glorious excitement, energy and playfulness only found… well… apparently in Sunderland. Birds on the Moon starts a little slower, but it isn’t long before the tempo rises again, and the track swells up with rollocking aplomb. Brilliant stuff.