Beecher - This Elegy, His Autopsy - 2005 - Earache Records
1. It's Good Weather For Black Leather 2. Function! Function! 3. The Womaniser and the Alcoholic 4. Knight the Arsonist 5. Not Guilty 6. ...And On That Day He Became A Human Plumb Line 7. Psycho Galvanic Skin Response 8. Man The Traps 9. Brown Eyes (No Name) 10. The Biting Cold 11. I Won't Miss, Or Be Missed 12. Happiness 13. Reach Up To The Gods
‘This Elegy, His Autopsy’ serves as Beecher’s second album as well as their swansong. It is an unfortunate circumstance that puts this talented and truly progressive band out of the business while others rehashing old tricks get rich. Through this album, Beecher slam through most every level of hardcore, even reaching the occasional keyboard led moments which new underground sensations like HORSE the Band are beginning to employ. Beecher never use any particular style to the point where it becomes a gimmick, though. And, upon reflection, this appears to be their strongest feature: the ability to draw influences from so many directions and make if their own while never compromising their own artistic vision.
Beecher’s existence was an ironic one. Throughout their unfortunately short career, they tended to adhere most closely, though never through association of their own doing, to the school of hardcore which doesn’t (or at least, would have you believe that they don’t) care what you or anyone else think about them. Generally, this purported carelessness is reflected in the music not at all.
Hardcore is something of a careless and brash sounding genre in general, and ideological brashness must be displayed in one of two ways, if the band in question wants to make said ideology apparent. The first (and more often the chosen) method is to try twice as hard to write both caustic and emotional three-chord verses and spoken words of poetic desperation, so as to better stand out as a unique and thoughtful, but biting and bitter individual. 90 percent of the time, this results in nothing gained, and fans lost. The second method is the one Beecher has taken.
It cannot precisely be put into words, but its impact is undeniable. Beecher, with only two releases, both coming after the majority of hardcore bands had both hopped onto and fallen off the proverbial bandwagon, was still able to make waves across genres and across the pond enough that Earache, rarely a label inclined to sign hardcore (or, for that matter, core bands of any sort) decided to pick them up.
And the choice was a good one, despite the band’s break-up early this year. Through two full length albums, Beecher constructed a sound that, while not entirely anomalous, was absolutely their own, and absolutely unique. Guitarists Mark Lyons and Daniel Shaw, whom I presume were the writers of their own parts, were the backbone of Beecher’s standout style. Their tightly synchronized interplay and wanderings provide a rich amalgam of styles and tricks for the duration of ‘This Elegy, His Autopsy’ to explore and utilize.
Some of ‘This Elegy, His Autopsy’ plays like Beecher’s cover of hardcore standards-- nothing remarkably original, but entertaining nonetheless. It is the experimentation that makes this album stand strongly on its own. ‘Not Guilty’ delves into, albeit briefly, what sounds like the prelude to a sludge/noise metal centerpiece before transitioning beautifully into what under any other circumstance I would be forced to call an ‘emo’ riff and mainly spoken track, ‘And On That Day…’. The two tracks work, as does the entire album, for the intense attention that they pay to atmospheric dynamics and timely mood changes combined with genuine musical passion.
And, though I regret the breakup, I cannot help but applaud its classic Beecher style. As quoted on their MySpace page (redirected from their homepage), “So, as you can see, we broke up. Deal with it. I'm sure some of you are delighted, and no doubt in 5 years time you'll be telling people you were a big fan at the time. Fuck you.”
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