EP Review: Melbourne’s Badinage unveil the ethereal EP ‘Meander’: a rich and vivid world without words to explore.

The Breakdown

'Meander' seems to tell tales of a bacchanalian and luscious life - absent of words but deeply expressive and infused with senses and emotions.
Behind The Beat/MGM 8.5

Post rock instrumental ensemble Badinage emerge out of the cultural petri dish that is Melbourne with their new EP ‘Meander’: a collection of immersive evocative instrumentals that bleed with a melancholic intensity.

With an approach that at times has a Pink Floyd psychedelia and The Cure post punk edge, this is a glittering debut.

Badinage paint a massive pulsating sonic painting in their music: glittering, shining and anthemic with an instrumentation that recalls the music of bands like Died Pretty with the emotional impact and pulse quickening thrills of Sigur Rós or Mogwai. It is an immense sound from a trio that is evocative and breathtaking, touched with an element of psychedelia and grounded by an indie pop rock sensibility.

Reid says of the opening track ‘Surfin’ that the rhythm and flow are influenced by the sea and surfing:

It’s like dropping into a waveAnd the end is almost like getting dumped!

Capp adds:

The last verse with its solid undertone reminds me of a massive wave heading slowly but inexorably towards the shoreEventually breaking up in an explosion of foam.

Indeed there is an aquatic pulse to the track, and a fitting soundtrack to the breathtaking gorgeous video accompanying it, interspersing the band performing with a sweep over pounding oceans and the mesmerising glide of surfers:

‘Homage’ has a Pink Floyd psychedelic burr about it – wide and expansive horizons – whereas ‘Dance of the Odanata has a quiet, reflective sombre flow with a cello that weeps with a vibrancy and poise that is graceful and melancholic. Emotions seep through every brush stroke of the bow.

‘Smooth Jimi is Your Friend’ has crystalline guitars that reverberate and tremble in a bluesy languid style that seems to tell a tale of sorrow and drunkenness in dingy dark cellars soaked in whiskey and deep regret, a theme followed on in ‘Sweet Pearl’ whose trombone sound sees the world through a distorted shot glass in the early hours of the morning.

‘Say It Again’ has all the hallmarks of the morning after in the light of the dawn – trilling strings and a foggy hue with filtered lights sparkling through the fugue. The strings seem to sing of regret and loss while fuzzy guitars supply a resolve.

Indeed, ‘Meander’ seems to tell tales of a bacchanalian and luscious life – absent of words but deeply expressive and infused with senses and emotions.

‘Meander’ is out through Behind the Beat Records and MGM and is available to download and stream here and through the link below.

The band will be launching the EP on Sunday, 26 March – details are:

Sunday March 26th, 3-6pm: Wesley Anne, Northcote VIC  – Facebook event / Tickets

Badinage has an impressive heritage with cellist/bassist Simon Capp (Rhythm Pigs, Blue Ruin), guitarist Dave Reid (Speedway, The Likely Lads, Yard Dogs) and drummer Matt Omond (Cactus, Still Life Clowns, The Ayatollahs) on board. The EP was recorded and engineered by the legendary Phill Calvert, Capp’s one-time rhythm partner in local 80s legends Blue Ruin and drummer for iconic bands such as The Boys Next Door/The Birthday Party and The Psychedelic Furs.

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1 Comment

  1. […] from the band’s EP ‘Meander’ released earlier this year (and reviewed by me here), ‘Dance of the Odonata’ is a stately graceful track, elegiac and restrained with a […]

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