Bernaccia - Growl Peace Belief (Album Review)
Rarely does a band seem to have found its sound with its debut release, but it seems Newcastle based 5-piece Bernaccia haven’t just found their sound, but refined it. Growl Peace Belief throws together the best of late noughties indie rock with sophisticated modern psychedelic tones across a varied but tonally consistent 9 tracks. Opening with Warcry, the album starts off strong with a Misirlou-esque drumbeat accompanied by a matching motif that builds to show off their self-professed “neo psyche, desert blues” sound; as weird as that mix seems, Bernaccia push it in an entirely natural way.
This natural progression of forms really lends itself to comparisons of Band of Skulls’ early career, with a more desert blues and slightly golden-era Britpop feel across some of their tracks. Any comparison to Band of Skulls is a good one in my eyes, and if Bernaccia can get the right exposure, there’s every possibility they can reach that standard. The joint male and female vocals really push that late noughties indie rock mood in the first few tracks; accompany this with new and interesting synth integration and Bernaccia retain their freshness throughout most of the album. Another comparison that can be made is with another relatively young band, Kagoule, who released their debut Urth last year; this is perhaps a worry. Kagoule didn’t get the following that their music deserves (not that the album was a failure for a debut), and so that’s my main concern with Growl Peace Belief: Bernaccia definitely stand out amongst a relatively bland indie market at the minute, but whether they have the exposure and intensity to break away from the alternative market they’ll find themselves in is another story.
Don’t let that distract from the music, however, Power to the Hills, Angel and Vega all really hit home how talented and refined Bernaccia are for a debuting group. These make up the middle of the album and really help bulk it out into an album, rather than just a collection of songs. Following these are a slightly more psychedelic take of their sound which is maybe somewhat reminiscent of Kasabian’s West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum album. However, by the end of the final track this can grow slightly stale. Mainly it’s missing the real powerhouse sound coming from the middle of the album, but musically is still as impressive as the previous tracks.
Overall, Bernaccia have created a natural and impressive tone amongst their varied inclusion of genres and moods. The Band of Skulls indie mood accompanied with psychedelic influences of modern alternative music really helps Growl Peace Belief grow into an impressive album that shows the talent of this North East 5-piece.