THE OUTPOST [CD|LP|DIGITAL]
Hailing from North Somerset in the UK, Blueneck have been at forefront of the European underground music scene since forming in 2000. They’ve released five critically-acclaimed albums, toured extensively with acts like Cult of Luna and Mono and featured in series of high profile European festivals including a triumphant midnight set at Glastonbury 2014. The band have also soundtracked a number of independent films and had their work featured on NBC, HBO and SyFy channels.
Typically obsessive, fastidious and reclusive in their approach to recording (Blueneck’s last album, 2014’s epic KING NINE, was almost 4 years in the making) the band’s forthcoming long-player THE OUTPOST was written and recorded over an uncharacteristically short 18 months.
This shortened gestation period was not the only respect in which THE OUTPOST is markedly different to Blueneck’s previous recording experience and output (2006’s SCARS OF THE MIDWEST, 2009’s THE FALLEN HOST, 2011’s REPETITIONS, 2012’s vocal-free soundtrack album EPILOGUE, 2014’s KING NINE). Originally planned as a wholly separate touring electronica side-project for singer-songwriter Duncan Attwood and guitarist Rich Sadler, the duo began to find the prospect of deploying the full Blueneck sonic arsenal - along with the skills of long-term producer collaborator Matt Sampson and bass-player Ben Paget - all too irresistible. Once the decision had been made to fold the side-project back under the Blueneck banner, the fact that home recordings were already well-advanced made for a refreshingly fluid, fast (for Blueneck) and - dare we say - fun final 12 months of studio time.
The resulting LP retains the melodic songcraft of Blueneck’s best work, as well as Attwood’s inimitable seductive, haunting vocals. However THE OUTPOST eschews the southern-gothic sepia of KING NINE in exchange for a maxed-out colour contrast of electronic beats, vibrant vintage synths and guitars that are by turns ballsy, soaring and delicately intricate.
From the pulsing Archive-esque Prog whiplash of ‘From Beyond’ to the plaintive Sparklehorse meets Boards of Canada electro-pop of ‘Ghosts’ (Blueneck’s most accessible moment to date); and from the windswept Earth-esque Americana of ‘The White Ship’ to the Talk Talk covering John Carpenter expanse of ‘Hive’; Blueneck have created one of their most passionate, propulsive and progressive recordings to date.
As with KING NINE, Blueneck are employing the artistry of acclaimed artist and filmmaker Lasse Hoile (who previously worked with Anathema, Porcupine Tree and Opeth). Lasse’s album art - along with forthcoming music videos - feature a neon-tinted Lovecraftian 80’s menace in a small town American heartland, reminiscent of Netflix show ‘Stranger Things’, recent indie-horror movie ‘It Follows’ and John Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy.
Praise for Blueneck:
– Rock Sound
An intoxicating all-consuming experience” – Classic Rock: Prog
“Melds heavy alt-rock with gentle Amnesiac-era Radiohead fragility in impressive style”
– Metal Hammer
“One of England's best kept secrets”
– The Digital Fix