Bell X1 - Chop Chop Chop Chop… One of the more peculiar album covers we’ve seen of late

Review: Bell X1 – Chop Chop

Published on July 2nd, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

Bell X1’s eighth album Chop Chop is one of those ‘stately yet fragile beauty interspersed with clattering broodiness’ affairs: think The National, Elbow, Sweet Billy Pilgrim, The Antlers, maybe even a little Arcade Fire.

Drums tumble and rumble, piano tinkles and cascades, a brass section makes triumphant interjections and Paul Noonan’s agreeably understated vocal chips in with instantly gratifying lyrical hooks such as “They’d block out the sun / If there was one” (“Starlings Over Brighton Pier”) and the more meanderingly thoughtful likes of “Last time I looked we were dancing like dogs on fire / Now I’m laughing with your little girl / Laughing about my sunburn on that day”.

At times Chop Chop treads too fine a line between competence and genuine inspiration, but when it does feel like it’s settled too much into itself – the bucolic trot of “Motorcades”, for example, or the stumbling, echo-y “Careful What You Wish For” – there’s invariably a splendorous breakdown and/or gentle liftoff to save the day.

“A Thousand Little Downers” throws in a sudden impact of crashing distortion to achieve its own particular liftoff, then casts those wings off for something altogether ‘floatier’, while the slow-burning intensity of “Diorama” is rousing in its peaceful way.

You won’t hear much that’s new on Chop Chop but you could enjoy a cozy Sunday afternoon with it, and there ain’t too much wrong with that.

Chop Chop will be released on July 1st by Belly Songs.

You can buy Chop Chop on iTunes or on Amazon.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

a quaila quaila quail

Artists:

About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.