baron

A word to the wise – probably best not to describe your own album as a ‘fully realised masterpiece’ unless it is, you know, a fully realised masterpiece. On this second album, Baron have fallen into exactly that easily avoidable trap, although credit’s due for their having labelled it appropriately; ‘Torpor’ is a fitting title for an album on which they’ve wrongly assumed that recording (partially) in a medieval hall and letting everything unfold at a snail’s pace is enough to generate genuine atmosphere.

Baron do show occasional flashes of understanding the power of the slow-burn (‘Stry’, far and away the standout, is a stormer), which makes it frankly baffling that they’ve given themselves over to self-indulgent noodling in such wholesale fashion elsewhere. ‘Mark Maker’ never gets going, ‘Wild Cry’’s twinkling synths are a tinny distraction, and, on the predictable ‘Deeper Align’, the Brighton outfit sound as if they’re second-guessing themselves. It’s this lack of conviction throughout that trips ‘Torpor’ up; it’s barely even fully realised, let alone a masterpiece.

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