I Spoke / Beaumont Hamel I Spoke / Beaumont Hamel

I Spoke’s "Friends Not Fans” plays out in a mania of strikingly evocative desperation. The arrangements are unfalteringly startling in their almost sad, angular spirals. The lyrics smeared over top are a sharp contrast and twist your head into a different place. Just as soon as you get used to the new position, that same swirl of crystalline urgency returns and you’re shifted into another place entirely all over again. Flip it over and you’ll hear Beaumont Hamel’s "The Communist,” which is a more straight-ahead brand of hardcore. It has a nice lo-fi sound and keeps everything tightly focused, which seems to make for the ideal stage for the band to incorporate their politics. Beaumont Hamel’s second song, "The Country Club” covers much of the same territory in terms of sound and mindset. Beaumont Hamel and I Spoke sing of some pretty common sense ideals often found in political punk and hardcore but they both articulate their lyrics in a thoughtful and effective way, easily overstepping the sense of immature rhetoric that much of this kind of thing often falls victim to. (Victoires International)