Bellow Below have the most frustrating name. Ever. This review has been full of second guessing the spelling and arrangement of their name at every turn. And despite all this frustration there’s still all sorts of good stuff to say about “Big Whoop”.
Bellow Below make up for their confusing name by writing some lovely little math-rock influenced ditties. This EP features all sorts of clever instrumental flourishes and tasty intricate arrangements. Those of you have have a penchant for music written on the very edge of an artists ability are likely to find a lot to enjoy here.
Those who aren’t into that shouldn’t be discouraged though. The band have fine tuned their flashy instrumentation to serve their songs. This is very much a case of considered song writing written by talented players than talented players forcing unrelated, but cool, ideas in the same composition. It’s intriguing aspect of this release that its catchy, but it isn’t hooky. Bellow Below still sit to the left of the field that Foals have populated with their equally popy and mathy cuts. It’s an approach to writing that’s probably an acquired taste, but one that’s worth acquiring.
There is a bit of a restrained melancholic atmosphere on this EP thanks to the sombre vocal performance. It certainly suits the band, and helps them stand out from the oppressively upbeat and overly dramatic post-Biffy impersonators that clog up the Scottish underground these days, but it does occasionally feel as if it robs the tracks of some energy. Though both “Peel” and “Adult Vegans” manage to avoid that trap. At least for the most part. It’s a minor quibble, and one that tends to ease way with repeated listens.
“Big Whoop” is pretty good like and the potential for other sweet releases is pretty obvious.
“Big Whoop” is available now via Good Grief Records and their bandcamp page.