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Bdrmm - I Don't Know (Album Review)

Friday, 07 July 2023 Written by Graeme Marsh

Bdrmm see themselves as four fools from Hull, and their disbelief at the prospect of their second album ‘I Don’t Know’ charting upon release was a refreshing example of humility. The reality is a little bit more complicated. The quartet are a great new hope for the shoegaze scene, having won a legion of fans with their 2020 self-titled LP, but its follow up sits far more loosely under that umbrella, leaning towards a softer, dream-pop state rather than the abrasive nature of their root sound.

The album takes its title from an ambient-influenced instrumental included here, and its dreaminess ensures that the collection is labelled accordingly. The trance-like Hidden Camera follows, as though to hammer home the point, but this one-two arrives during the album’s second half, after its biggest successes. 

Those first half highlights sound a little more like what we were expecting to hear. Firstly, the thunderous single It’s Just a Bit of Blood is both propulsive and subtle, working between the two extremes with ease. The excellent, repetitive We Fall Apart recalls Fews to create a stunning example of atmospheric bliss.

Spending more time together, due to Covid restrictions, the quartet thought more deeply about the direction they wanted to go in, although such rumination also led to a few last minute changes. Producers also came and went as they fine-tuned their approach, with lack of initial studio time adding another layer of delay.

But as soon as you drop the needle, opener Alps leaves little doubt about where they finally decided to go with ‘I Don’t Know’. It pulses in a feverish haze, its true shape gradually coming into view. 

A Final Movement, an eight-minute electronic meandering, closes ‘I Don’t Know’ by hinting at something more classical. The preceding track Pulling Stitches is another rare glimpse of more traditional shoegaze, but its place on the tracklisting only underlines the fact that Bdrmm were intent on exploring other avenues so as not to become predictable. They’ve done that admirably. 

Bdrmm Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sun November 12 2023 - GLASGOW Classic Grand
Mon November 13 2023 - BIRMINGHAM Hare And Hounds
Tue November 14 2023 - MANCHESTER White Hotel
Wed November 15 2023 - NOTTINGHAM Bodega Social Club
Thu November 16 2023 - LEEDS Stylus
Sat November 18 2023 - CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach
Sun November 19 2023 - BRISTOL Thekla
Mon November 20 2023 - LONDON Scala
Wed November 22 2023 - CAMBRIDGE Mash
Thu November 23 2023 - BEDFORD Bedford Esquires
Fri November 24 2023 - BRIGHTON Patterns
Sun November 26 2023 - DUBLIN Button Factory

Compare & Buy Bdrmm Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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