4 out of 5
Produced by: Alan Sinclair, James Plotkin (mastered by, 7″)
Bexteth Hill totally sounds like some legit UK location, likely always rain-swept, clouded-over, and with some gravestones here and there. Looking it up doesn’t bring forth any matches except for this next entry in Alan Sinclair’s – aka Repeated Viewing – catalogue of scores for imagined horror films, but that title is still wonderfully accurate: the playful piano tones mapped to hauntingly plodding beats are perfect for an undiscovered Hammer classic, or perhaps some dubbed horror art film with nightgowned ladies and gloved killers.
The A-side title track is very waltz like, performed to perfection to effect a live band sound of rich percussion and reverb. It’s only misstep is in ending too soon, but you can also see this as being exactly the right length for the film’s opening credit scrawl.
B-side Wanderer is also effectively named, with its tick-tock, metronome pacing and more downplayed melody the perfect accompaniment for some POV shots of some mysterious figure, watching from afar… Sinclair halts the track in the middle rather oddly, but it picks up for an emotive coda thereafter.
The digital version of Horror has three extra tracks, with The Left Bank’s layering of strings and marching drums an absolute highlight. Each of these songs is various complete, without exception, though perhaps slightly more “modern” sounding than the 7″ songs, with additional elements (the strings, some electronics) sounding as though coming from a couple decades after the likely setting of Bexteth, but Sinclair also includes thematic elements through all the tracks, such that they’re very much tied together.