Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

BÆNCH (Denmark) – Skipped a Step (single)

As I’ve mentioned on innumerable occasions, when you have many songs to review and only (usually) one post each night you can easily develop arcane coping mechanisms for helping you decide what that post should be.

It might be a reference to something in the press release, a mnemonic, an allusion, a play on words, anything really.

On this occasion I was instantly taken by the opening bars of BÆNCH’s (it means bench, that was easy enough) latest single, the first for two years, and entitled ‘Skipped a Step.’

The initial feedback screech and beat is pretty well identical to that of Arcade Fire’s ‘Month of May’. Well, in its live version anyway and I’m thinking of the performance on Jools Holland’s show, in 2010, an absolute classic live performance fortunately retained for posterity on You Tube.

That was a good start, to establish that sort of baenchmark (pardon the pun) and that’s just where it starts as well.

The idea behind the song is that when you get off your blocks in a sprint race you are leaning forward and therefore have to run fast or you’ll fall flat on your face, but if you try to skip a step that will happen anyway. Q,E.D.

Thanks for reminding me lads, that’s exactly what happened to me when I tripped over my own shoelace on the canal path at Hebden Bridge, couldn’t shift the old legs fast enough and broke my wrist. I can’t dispute their science.

But the song doesn’t skip any steps. It’s relentless from start to finish, screaming guitars, moaning synthesisers, a bass line like an out of control steam train and frenetically delivered lyrics. It’s as close to the wall of sound concept of Spector and Horn as I’ve heard on a rock track.

They’re billed as post punk with a hint of shoe gaze but to me they’re simply good old fashioned rockers who can play a bit, throwing in some gloomy Morrissey-like lyrics (“I don’t read the morning papers anymore/I don’t do Sundays anymore…”) for good measure.

I imagine they are a fascinating band to watch live and especially if they can keep up this intensity for 90 minutes. This has all the passion of yesterday’s Man United – Liverpool game, bottled up for your delectation.

They just started a 20-venue tour around Denmark shortly; check their social pages for details.

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