SINGLE REVIEW: "AWAKE" BY BEIGE BANQUET
Propelled by motorik drum machines and jagged guitars, London quintet Beige Banquet pave the way for their sophomore release on single “Awake”.
Breaking through in 2021, seemingly out of nowhere, Beige Banquet delivered one of last year’s most enigmatic and engaging releases. Formerly a solo project of East London via West Yorkshire’s Tom Brierly, Beige Banquet’s debut album Beta was written, recorded, and brought to life in a single London apartment. Pulling together Devo-esque electric drums, post-punk jagged guitars, and a nervously sleazy vocal delivery, Beige Banquet brought forth a sound that was equal parts familiar, compelling, and innovative. Wasting no time, though, and having expanded to a five-piece outfit, the band is back with “Awake”, the first single from their upcoming EP.
Continuing to hone the Beige Banquet sonic fingerprint, “Awake” lets the group's signature mechanical drums pull the track in, quickly being joined by guitars jumping out with an electric charge. As Brierley’s vocals arrive - still with his signature sleazed-out style - he surrounds himself with a percussion section that would leave The Talking Heads’ envious. With a pummeling charge that leaves you no choice but to bop your head “Awake” demonstrates that the Beige Banquet sound is one that needs no revisions.
Nonetheless, the band refuses to be complacent as they take a surprising left turn into the world of art-rock. With a range of other voices entering, intertwining, and weaving around each other, the track gains a disorienting lilt. As Brierley takes center stage again singing desperately, “I need you. I need you right now”, a grand moment of catharsis comes about as every instrument finds its purpose. Driving towards a crescendo of tension, “Awake” draws upon a well of emotion that previously was unheard of in the band’s material. Without a doubt an exciting preview of an upcoming self-titled EP that may just make Beige Banquet an indisputable icon of the British post-punk scene.
Beige Banquet will be headlining the first DRAB Presents show for the release of their EP playing alongside Fehlt and Perspex on the 14th of August. Tickets are on sale now.
"Awake" is out now on Just Step Sideways Records. Stream or buy the record on Bandcamp.
Writing by Varun Govil