The Times May Change But They Sure Stay The Same
The land holds our impressions in the dust. It makes a mould of our travels. It remembers the force of our feet and the frame of our heels, and although the wind may sweep our tracks away, somewhere in the soil there is a handful of memories trampled into the earth. In that way, decay becomes wholesome. Dig and you shall revive.
Bilderberg Motel’s third EP, Rope, borders on that principle. The sound is rustic. It rolls around in fields of sugarcane beyond the cities and towns we’ve grown accustomed to. Dripping molasses makes for the perfect backdrop because the sound is so rural and refined. It oozes like a thick dark syrup, and for some reason I can’t keep a weathered farmer from telling me, “Son, this is bible country.” Followed by a gun in his pocket making an obvious bulge.
Rope arouses shades of 60’s Americana – snapshots of cattle ranches, roadhouses, milkshake diners, and Datsun roadsters, and when the moon beams, country creeks, misty lagoons, cases of beer, the skinny dipping strip tease, clothes all tangled in the trees, and to boot, country girls with marijuana in their eyes.
The tracklist flows like cloths of different colour; every piece holds a different time, but sewn together forms part of one big blanket. “Limbs”, as a song, is really easy to get into. It’s not over complicated, nor is it too simplified, which makes it quite possessive and mesmerising. No time is wasted on introducing the subject matter. One thing I know | the animal he lives | He dances and drives | and he controls my limbs. The song comes together as a persuasion, a loosening of the limbs, and a simulation of what it means to misplace love in favour of more seductive spells.
“Hypnoanaesthetic” flows into an easier groove and lulls us from the hype of Limbs. The transition is essential. The two just work so well together in order to regulate the tempo and pace of the EP. Melissa Williams’ (drums, percussion) vocals are more prominent on Rope than they were on Lorien. She occupies half of the EP while Adrian Day (vocals, rhythm) occupies the other, and when the balance feels stilted, their voices echo and melt into one another.
Rope as an EP shows a passion for 60’s music and Psychedelic Rock ‘n Roll, but that doesn’t encapsulate who and what Bilderberg Motel is. Behind their Folk, Country, Garage Rock, Punk stems the seed of an Americana Revival. Every band member brings an additional element to the mix with influences that range from Bob Dylan to Shellac, and that makes Rope as relevant today as it would have been fifty years ago.