BeMyDelay - ToTheOtherSide∆ [Boring Machines - 2011]Despite the mysterious triangle at the end of this album’s title, the shape most synonymous with the sounds found within is a circle as Bologne’s Marcella Riccardi debuts her solo song psycles formed of loops of guitar, bass and vocals supported by minimal hand percussion and maximal flange and delay.
Riccardi was previously a founding member of Franklin Delano, an alt folk rock group with links to Chicago’s post rock scene (particularly Califone), and ‘ToTheOtherSide∆’ arguably continues in this vein but is set apart through the limited means with which it is executed: the songs do not follow a verse/chorus structure – indeed there are no choruses, just a verse per track created by looping one or two bar refrains over and over. Equally stubborn in repetition are the vocals which remind of Patti Smith or Siouxsie Sioux in their narrow ranged, slightly flat, yet defiantly confident manner.
The set opens with a mantra using just the one plodding guitar chord to celebrate ‘You and Me and the Sunshine’ in a primitive psychedelia that not for the last time reminds of The Velvet Underground: later ‘Cobra Sun’ and ‘To Come Out to the Other Side’ use a combination of tambourine and a simple, electric guitar riff to resurrect the potency of ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’ and ‘Venus in Furs’ respectively. Elsewhere Riccardi’s looped layers effectively imitate a Stooges-like stomper on ‘Toward The Sun’ while producing more laid back folk pluckery on ‘What It Feels Like to be Drowned’ and ‘Mirror’.
BeMyDelay’s cyclical monotony has a pleasantly intoxicating effect that fuses space rock vibes with a punk voice and folk traditions. Yet for all the repetition, the combination has a surprisingly natural, cohesive feel where Riccardi’s songs of sun-worship make ‘ToTheOtherSide∆’ seem like a refreshing dawn performance at a free festival.Russell Cuzner