Baron: Torpor

A very British haunting…

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Grain silos, disused water towers and country houses – just some of the unorthodox places used to ferry bands into altered psychological states as for any distinctive ambience.

For Baron’s second album, the UK quartet occupied a medieval hall in Suffolk, in which to summon their wyrd-psych spirits. Alongside the barrage of growling electric guitar, organ drones, rumbling kit drums and keening vocals there’s a strange, ancient presence closing in upon this otherwise conspicuously modern sound. Haloed in shimmering reverb, Alex Crispin’s guitars foster turbulent storms beneath which Philip Glass-like organ arpeggios dolefully pitch and yaw. Though his vocals sometimes blossom with cresting harmonies, the mood is sombre. After Dragonfly’s initial promise of a pastoral journey, Baron veer into a chilly, cavernous space, in which arcs of luminous reverb are lost to the pulsating darkness. Rarely deviating from a mid-paced canter, Torpor finds the players in a profound seance, clearly reluctant to break the circle of solemn tempos of their stately procession. In others, that sonic uniformity might be grounds for criticism. With Baron, it’s a major strength.

Sid Smith

Sid's feature articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Prog, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Q, Mojo and Uncut. A full-time freelance writer with hundreds of sleevenotes and essays for both indie and major record labels to his credit, his book, In The Court Of King Crimson, an acclaimed biography of King Crimson, was substantially revised and expanded in 2019 to coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary. Alongside appearances on radio and TV, he has lectured on jazz and progressive music in the UK and Europe.  

A resident of Whitley Bay in north-east England, he spends far too much time posting photographs of LPs he's listening to on Twitter and Facebook.