‘Of Dust & Matter’ opens proceedings in eccentric fashion, off-kilter keys and shuffling drums taking turns to give way to hushed vocals, and both ‘Faultlines’ - which decries austerity whilst setting increasingly urgent piano work against a subtle wall of reverb - and the simmering ‘The Crawl’, where the drums rattle like heavy artillery, suggest that the Newcastle outfit are on the leanest and most focused form of their lives here.
Elsewhere, vocalist Hazel Wilde is left to pick up a little bit more of the slack - the stormy ‘Stepping Down’ has her centre stage against an erratic electronic backdrop, for instance - and she rises to the occasion; there’s nuance and quiet menace to her delivery, suiting both the subject matter and the often claustrophobic nature of the songs themselves. The slow, deliberate title track is probably the standout; when the strings flutter and guitars shimmer quite like that, there’s no real need for a crescendo. Lanterns on the Lake are making rock music that, in terms of how vital it feels in 2015, is virtually without equal. ‘Beings’ just about confirms that.
These ten songs reflect a world that has been torn apart, crushed underfoot, and ravaged by injustice. But there aren’t any loud explosions here, no violent recriminations. The dust has settled, and capitulation has given way to a strange sense of beauty amid restlessness, hope amid chaos. (...)
Beings is something of an amalgamation, a set of mostly slower, intimate songs rendered with a broad, layered sonic canvas. This music rolls in like a mist off the Tyne. (...)
The overall tone combined with the dynamic, loud-quiet-loud arrangements could lead some listeners to believe Lanterns on the Lake have gotten a bit high-minded. Like the best sonic explorers before them, though, they’ve earned the right. Beings presents a band growing, progressing, and challenging itself without losing its sense of identity. And, like the best pop art, it speaks directly to current times while transcending them as well. It’s not to be missed.
Lanterns On The Lake in Deutschland:
15.02.16 Hamburg, Molotow
16.02.16 Berlin, Privatclub
17.02.16 München, Kranhalle
22.02.16 Köln, YUCA