Be Forest, Earthbeat

Ryan Reed

By Ryan Reed

on 02.04.14 in Reviews

This Italian quartet is the figurehead of the loosely assembled “Pesaro movement,” which finds a handful of young bands combining chilly keyboard atmospheres with shoegaze-y mushroom-cloud guitars and trance-like percussion. These sounds and textures are more than familiar in today’s indie rock, but with Earthbeat, Be Forest’s spin is vastly more visceral, even spiritual — closer in its alien passion to their forefathers the Jesus and Mary Chain.

Call it dream-within-a-dream pop

At nine tracks and 33 minutes, Earthbeat is a cohesive blur, each track reworking variations of the same trippy template — on headphones, late at night, it’s difficult to discern when one track ends and another begins. Eventually, though, individual moments emerge from the absorbing fog — from the new-wave Lord of the Flies pulses of “Captured Heart” to the stutter-stepping closer “Hideaway” to the chiming vistas of “Ghost Dance.” The most blissful moment is also the briefest, as instrumental opener “Totem” sets the pace with its tribal tom-toms and ethereal synthesizers. The song title calls to mind Christopher Nolan’s 2010 cinematic mind-fuck Inception, in which characters use “totems” (unique, personal objects like spinning tops) to cling to reality within their endless dreamscapes. It’s a fitting association with Be Forest’s evocative style — call it dream-within-a-dream pop.