With their third LP, and after the success of their previous EP “Adult Oriented Rock”, BEEF are following the right path to become the undeniable classic band in Spanish music, and surely one of the best considered abroad. It’s not the moment now to talk too long about their celebrated beginnings as BACH IS DEAD, or the glorious precedings of their albums “Beef Songs” and “Beef Tongues” (recorded in New Jersey with producer Kramer), but it’s the right time to remember that this band has been many years now proving how taking risks and with personality you can get to unexpected, yet terribly exciting conclusions.
On “Fi Qasr Sheikh Al-Dabant” (roughly translated as “home recorded at Casa Dabant”, since it was recorded in an old house in their hometown), these four visionaries show the world, once again, that lucidity and avant-garde experimentation, electronic rock and punk attitude, are not on bad terms with sense of humour: only them could write a song like “Yang-Tse”, making the joke a simple excuse after having heard the hypnotic beauty of the music. Only some eccentric geniuses like BEEF’s members can call “Martínez” (a quite common second name in Spain) one of the best songs in their album, or title “Rosenvinge” (second name of a well-known singer and actress) a frantic, dynamic rock song.
Used to take out the best from their rebellious guitars, they play with different grades of intensity, even if it’s in the same song: they can be very cerebral, but intense, carnal and impressive at the same time (“Cars’ Song”, “Country Jones Music Park”...). Since the record begins with the unconcerned whistling of “Hair”, an astonishing demonstration of talent and wisdom destroys all your forecasts: of course there’s place for naughty, clever arrangements, noise, chaos and intertwined guitar playing; for that kind of minimal, experimental rock which has become their trademark, but you can tell as well that they have an special interest, almost a need for discovering new territories (though this is one of their trademarks as well). A tribute to “Blixa Bargeld” could only be done using those cold, regular cadences (the rhythmic part of the album has been carefully sculptured) and those irritating background chirps. On the other hand, “Belmondo” couldn’t have had a better accompaniment than that of the seductive voices of Natalia NOSOTRÄSH, Amaya from VENAS PLUTON (members from her band as well as from APRIL FISH have collaborated on the record), Yukiko (A&R from Tokuma Japan Communications, the label releasing Elefant’s references in that country) or Montse (from Elefant’s promotion department).
“Fi Qasr Sheikh Al-Dabant” is a new starting of the most unsettled, present-day repertoire in Spanish rock. Another step forward, until more and more people will finally realize the immense value of the band we are talking about.