THE NECKS

UNCUT - - New Al­bums - John RoBIn­son

Body NORTH­ERN SPY 9/10 sus­pense­ful 20th from Aus­tralian trio

The Necks deal in en­tranc­ing ebbs and flows. Dur­ing their best works – the as­ton­ish­ing Drive By, for ex­am­ple – the band trans­form their al­lot­ted hour into a space of ex­quis­ite mount­ing ten­sion. On their 20th al­bum, their best for a while, Chris Abra­hams’ piano and Tony Buck’s drums cul­ti­vate a trance-like state, while Lloyd Swan­ton’s in­sis­tent bass pulse (and a tick­ing clock) ratchet up the sus­pense. What fol­lows, though, is an ex­tended, un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally rock­ing re­lease: a hairy 15-minute mo­torik wig-out, strafed by freaky noise from “We Love You” and Satanic Majesties. It’s a mag­nif­i­cent re­minder of the band’s con­tin­u­ing abil­ity to sur­prise. As John Peel said of The Fall, they’re al­ways dif­fer­ent, yet some­how al­ways the same.

Is their 20th LP Necks’ best thing?

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