Music Reviews

Bar Italia Tracey Denim

(Matador) Rating - 7/10

Remaining mostly anonymous before releasing their debut LP, Bar Italia count on their musicianship when there's no narrative to hold onto. It helps that the London trio is signed to Matador to pull off such a feat, especially when signing to a prestige label can be a risky move now. Fortunately, the ramshackle post-punk of Tracey Denim enjoys high quality control despite having fifteen tracks. Balancing shadowy goth-pop with nimble pop hooks, the band strips their songs to their barest elements to complement their intuitive use of dissonance and texture. The off-key vocal performances present in Punkt and F.O.B balance their brooding atmosphere, finding a middle ground between Autolux and labelmates Interpol. The taut guitar-drum dynamics of Nurse! and Best in Show feel livelier in execution, demonstrating how the band sounds less listless than they seem. The album mostly screams avant-garde in its minimalism, sometimes to its detriment, but there's no denying they have the talent to justify the mystery they've built.