BellX1, Bloodless Coup

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 03.30.11 in Reviews

On their fifth LP, Ireland's Bell X1 make rock music that can be as bombastically arena-ready as Muse or the Killers ("Velcro"), as intense-but-contained as The National ("Nightwatchmen," "The Trailing Skirts of Love"), and as weird as Beck (the start of "Haloumi"). The biggest differentiator from those acts, though, is the synths and electronic effects — spacey in album opener "Hey Anna Lena," and ready for the dancefloor in "Safe Than Love" and "4 Minute Mile." That they mix and match these elements makes the group tough to pin down, which ultimately works to their advantage.