Following the apparent demise of Overlook Records, home of their 2012 EP Hooks, Bellow Below have finally returned with a follow-up EP in the form of Big Whoop, released through the similarly Glasgow-based Good Grief Records.
Harnessing the same veins of mathematical guitars and wispy vocals, the overall vibe is considerably more ambient and peaceful, although there are the inevitable spasms of clamour (this is math-rock after all).
Opener ‘Belvedere’ gets things off to a spacious start, ‘Peel’ sees the Ayrshire quartet get a little restless and develop some “swagger”, ‘Adult Vegans’ ducks and weaves for five minutes, a highlight of polyrhythmic delight and finally ‘Ventura’ is ace, as it stumbles and trundles to a raucous end to itself and the EP as a whole.
In short, that is it, the synopsis of Big Whoop as it lives and breathes.
Certainly less immediate and more atmospheric than Hooks, Bellow Below’s second EP seems to take a step back to reflect, wrapped in mystic soundscapes tainted with gently soaring vocals, earthed with guitar, the listener’s mind is welcome and likely to meld into the creation.
After a break/absence from musical releases, the quartet are back, hopefully to stay, a new record deal should surely entail a debut LP, with two licks of the lollipop provided already, the prospect of a beguiling math-rock debut is tantalising at least.
Words: Kyle McCormick