4 out of 5
Label: Lunaris Records
Produced by: Andy Sinclair (recorded and mixed by)
There are two imagined, amazingly scored films called The Beach House: one is a horror film, with beach-side scenes pulled from Creepshow, slow malevolence creeping at the edges of every scene; one something a bit more oily-lensed and late-night, an 80s adventure movie with night-time boat rides and long-haired men wearing sunglasses.
Repeated Viewing gives each of these movies perfect accompaniment on his “soundtrack,” and it’s only in trying to move the experience from one to the other – on Surface Tension/Accept Your Fate’s split – that the listen loses a bit of steam, mainly as a consequence of the horror music which leads off things being a bit more direct; when we transition from adventure / thriller back to horror, with the penultimate Looking For Help, the switch is more natural, with the tension increasing as we change genres.
Kicking things off is the excellent title track, one of the lushest, catchiest and spookiest things RV had written to date, which is bookended by some ambience, which vaguely tracks the same melody, before launching into the equally awesome / haunting Bizarre Ritual. The slightly more laid back tunes that follow still have a gritty undertone to them, and taken on their own, the music is perfectly immersive, leading us with a firm hand toward the aforementioned knife-twisting thrust of Looking For Help, which leads us to the “end credits” finale take of the title track, which effectively blends both genres together as a hybrid, also acting as a fitting contemplative outro.
There are clear visuals ping-ponging in your mind the whole way through Beach House, and every track, by itself, is a delight. But the movie reel switches at one point, and there’s just a small delay there in getting the next reel going.