Since their first records, the Besnard Lakes have walked a fine line between classic rock guitarwork and near-ambient soundscapes. Though this has often been an advantageous aspect of their style, Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO tends to veer more often into the abstractly gorgeous than the rocking pyrotechnics. In this regard, UFO is a record that requires multiple listens to recognize key elements of each song beyond the ethereal elements.
“46 Satires,” classic Besnard Lakes, with airy vocals guitar solos (and additional instrumentation from Spencer Krug, for all you completists out there). “And Her Eyes Were Painted Gold,” will click into place as the last line “Can you hear the clock?” is sung over and over, locking it in your head for days.
Though not as immediately satisfying as their previous releases, UFO reveals itself to be the natural sound of a band in evolution. More importantly though, it demonstrates how the band is extremely conscious of their skills and have been able to control their sound in very specific ways to create these sonic paintings. It would be altogether too easy to create an ambient, directionless guitar album. Instead, they have harnessed their sound to make something compelling sound effortless. (Jagjaguwar, jagjaguwar.com) Devin King