With 80s-sounding drum machines and an industrial, krautrock energy, Beige Banquet share new EP ‘S/T’.

The London quintet flex their instrumental muscle on album follow-up and new EP entitled ‘S/T’.

Words: Karl Johnson | Photo: Bands On Film

Newly formed in 2020 and seemingly with enough lockdown material to kill a cat – see Beta, a 12-track album released at the height of lockdown in January of this year – Beige Banquet have returned with a new EP. Entitled S/T, its four tracks make up part of the body of work – alongside Beta – produced in the bedroom studio of guitarist and vocalist Tom Brierley during a creative 2020. Now the band are a muscular live unit, boasting five members and are now set to play a string of UK dates in celebration of their new releases.

Caught between the spikey, coiled energy of the guitars and the snake-like and interlinking bass groove in the verses, opening track AWAKE draws you into its tense energy and pent-up feeling of emotion. At its halfway point it awakens the sleeping beast within, harnessing the raw energy and momentum of driving basslines, motorik drums and a hypnotic and repetitive vocal line gets you hook, line and sinker. CONTROL shows that not everything has to be at lightning pace, we follow the vocal cat and mouse in the track as each instrument picks its moment to build and finally winds itself into a cavernous darkness. On ELASTICATED the vocal mould is broken with a spoken word introduction before the track fires into a guitar-heavy chorus with the now familiar and unique vocal charm of Tom Brierley. The sound is kept fresh with multiple vocalists playing their part. CONSTRUCTION is an addictive number with all the hard yards done instrumentally, balancing tension and climax with ease. The song contains a glorious spoken word entry which offers a scratchy krautrock escape from the more measured verses.

Brierly mentions, “It’s much more introspective than Beta. On the album I wanted to create a world through the music, while the EP leans to a more raw and personal style, focusing on myself rather than adopting characters. It feels like four separate songs, all different, but intrinsically linked by the theme of internal realisation. Four fragments, sonic moments, or memories that only feel connected when reflecting back on them.” S/T features collaborations on clarinet by Theo Bergot, backing vocals by Joe Munsey and The Reality TV‘s Benjamin Mace-Crossley and additional vocals and lyrics by Rosie Pearce.

I suppose the question is, what are you doing for the next 10 minutes and 57 seconds? S/T arrives and makes an impact in a heartbeat. The four-track EP arrives on 10″ vinyl via London label Just Step Sideways and on cassette via Mangel Records in Berlin.