Baron Bane - Lpto
The title “multimedia band” could be the undoing for many but numbering three musicians and two graphics designers, what else could you label Baron Bane this side of profanity? Everyone involved are apparently under the command of the Baron, with the musicians being referred to as “servants”. They are at home equally in art exhibitions and music festivals. Some years since their last album they return with Lpto but is it art installation or musical servitude?
The album starts with a track that wouldn’t be out of place on a Trent Reznor & Atticus Finch soundtrack.This is a false dawn of sorts. It opens the door to Baron Bane’s synth-heavy style but it’s only with the second track does Ida Long’s vocal take centre stage. From here we’re in a less innovative space, somewhere between the resurrection of Garbage and the product of a group that are over familiar with Depeche Mode’s 1980s output. The references to the 80s are subtle but present all the same despite being a trend that may have had its day. On the weaker tracks this can result in instilling a fear that a song could be one mis-step away from aping Hazell Dean’s 'Who’s Leaving Who'. Whilst this never happens it’s also indicitive of a weakness in some of the material.
It’s with the album closer, 'And the Flare Will Spark' that conveys that this album is somewhat a missed opportunity. From a quiet beginning it swells to a triumphant peak that makes you wish some of the earlier songs shared its aspirations.