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Review: Serious Beak — Huxwhukw

December 1, 2011

According to the write-up I received along with Serious Beak’s new creation, Huxwhukw, the album is “an eccentric amalgamation of mind-melting, toe-tapping, psychedelic, progressive and poly-rhythmic discordant music.” Which, after listening to the disc, I would say is true, if overly wordy. It is certainly eccentric and psychedelic and toe-tapping, no argument. What the promoter didn’t, and perhaps couldn’t, mention is Huxwhukw has two other characteristics: One, it is an instrumental album, we’re pretty much devoid of vocals in this ten-tracked collection. Two, Huxwhukw is all about fucking.

You may have heard it expressed before that music is like sex, and some music is. Serious Beak, however, have adjusted their focus and their album concentrates on fucking. Sometimes we’re invited to, urged to, implored to fuck, as with the track Swagger. Other times, most of the time, Serious Beak is here to have their music fuck us, specifically to mind-fuck us. You’ll notice this especially in the song Tui/Tuo. It’s hard to tell at times whether this album is coming or going, whether it’s letting up or just teasing us, if it’s resting or stalking us — waiting to pounce. The songs on Huxwhukw are multi-layered, and it often sounds like two songs are being played together, synchronized yet distinct, teaming up against us… or for us? There is a thin line between violence and play fighting, and that’s the line Huxwhku walks, stomps on, dances upon and spits across.

At times playful, at times gentle, at times overwhelming, Serious Beak’s music is rich, varied and delightfully vulgar. They come in gentle, lowering our defences and then lay into us with such abandon and such skill that it’s hard to tell if we want them to stop or to keep at it until our ears bleed.

You can experience Huxwhukw at Serious Beak’s Bampcamp page and you can follow the band on their Facebook page. I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity.

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