The Necks – Chemist (2006)

The Necks - Chemist (2006)
Artist: The Necks
Album: Chemist
Label: Fish Of Milk
Year Of Release: 2006
Format: FLAC (tracks+.cue)
1. Fatal (21:13)
2. Abillera (19:50)
3. Buoyant (19:51)


Chris Abrahams – piano
Tony Buck – drums, guitar
Lloyd Swanton – bass

Chemist significantly alters the composition of the Necks’ bewitching recipe, yet the chemistry still happens. Granted, the group’s music being so minimal and repetitive (please don’t interpret those words as grievances!), a small change can have a big impact. But the changes on Chemist are not small by the Necks’ standards. The most flagrant side step from the rule book is the fact that the album consists of three 20-minute tracks, instead of the obligatory hour-long piece. The back cover tells you that much. What it does not say is that drummer Tony Buck is also playing electric guitar throughout the album! The instrument is particularly featured in “Fatal,” a ferocious piece reminiscent of Hanging Gardens. It has all the typical Necks bells and whistles: the slow start, the hypnotic pulse, the gorgeous “swelling” toward the end and the short catharsis. The guitar adds a grittier edge and a new level of excitement. “Buoyant” is a lot more low-key: quiet electronics precede the appearance of Lloyd Swanton’s anchoring bassline; Chris Abrahams alternates between piano and electric piano, while a guitar drone provides an non-intrusive texture. The drums will kick in only at the thirteenth minute for a quick build-up. Finally, in “Abillera,” the trio breaks the mold, progressing in leaps and bounds from a very quiet introductory vignette, to a moody middle section, and then a post-rock-ish second half propelled by Buck’s creative four/four drumming and Abrahams’ chord rolls at the piano. Throughout the album, despite all the different approaches and new elements, the music remains resolutely, unmistakably the Necks. Chemist is the trio’s best album since Aether (or, if you don’t like their softer side, since Hanging Gardens), an essential for the fan, and a must-have for the casual listener.
by François Couture

5/5 - (1 vote)

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