Crushed Beaks - Scatter (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Crushed Beaks

Scatter (2015)

Matilda Records/ Moshi Moshi R

Crushed Beaks are a London, UK-based three piece that produce an admirably distinctive take on the current wave of reverb-heavy and poppy indie rock that’s seemingly everywhere. What the band lacks in heavy touring experience and prior releases (only an EP, Tropes, precedes this record) it makes up in earnest with a strong debut in Scatter.

Already released in the UK, Scatter is a cohesive ten track album in the vein of noise-pop and indie-rock veterans and could easily be a Pitchfork favorite. Though it’s nothing that’s been done before, the band excels in its unified sound across the record. From start to finish, it’s an energetically upbeat and atmospheric album with plenty of reverb-drenched guitar lines and pounding drums. Vocalist Matt Poile’s been compared to a young Damon Albarn, but I can't stop hearing in him a British version Surfer Blood’s John Paul Pitts. Either way, it’s a strong and distinguishing feature for the band, and with the added vocals and musicianship of bassist Scott Bowley, Scatter feels full and engaging.

The band collaborated with Fabio Frizzi (composer behind Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Beyond and City of the Living Dead) and recorded Scatter in Rome. The band espouses its love of horror movies, and with this partnership, you’d think that’d be reflected on the record, but fans of the genre would be disappointed. There’s not much here in tone or content, but the music doesn’t suffer for it.

The album’s cohesiveness is a strength, but it might be its greatest weakness. There aren’t any particular standout tracks to be found and it’s often difficult to discern one song from the next. But Scatter is an album that’s best played in full, and at the very least, it’s better appreciated as an organized piece. The band’s apparently got a great live show to boot, so Crushed Beaks are worth a listen or a stop at a show if they’re in your town.