The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is the group's sixth
album and the first in more than 15 years. After 2016's A Coliseum Complex Museum - which
saw Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas attempting shorter, less sprawling songs - the Besnards and
their label decided it was time to go their separate ways; with that decision came a question
of whether to even continue the project at all. What use is a band with an instinct for long,
tectonic tunes - rock songs with chthonic heft and ethereal grace, five or 10 or 18 minutes
long? How do you sell that in an age of bite-sized streaming? How do you make it relevant?
"Who gives a shit!" the Besnard Lakes realized. Ignited by their love for each other, for
playing music together, the sextet found themselves unspooling the most uncompromising
recording of their career. Despite all its grandeur, ...The Last of the Great Thunderstorm
Warnings honours the very essence of punk rock: the notion that a band need only be
relevant to itself. At last the Besnard Lakes have crafted a continuous long-form suite: nine
tracks that could be listened together as one, like Spiritualized's Lazer Guided Melodies or
even Dark Side of the Moon, overflowing with melody and harmony, drone and dazzle, the
group's own unique weather.
Here now, the Besnard Lakes finally dispensed with the two/three-year album cycle, taking
all the time they needed to conceive, compose, record and mix their opus. Some of its songs
were old, resurrected from demos cast aside years ago. Others were literally woodshedded
in the cabanon behind Lasek and Goreas's "Rigaud Ranch" - invented and reinvented,
relishing this rougher sound. Some of that distortion makes its way into the final mix: an
incandescent crackle that had receded from the Besnards' more recent output.
Rightly - nay, definitively! - The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm
Warnings is a double LP. "Near Death" is the title of the first side. "Death," "After Death,"
and "Life" follow next. It's literally a journey into (and back from) the brink: the story of the
Besnard Lakes' own odyssey but also a remembrance of others', especially the death of
Lasek's father in 2019. Being on your deathbed is perhaps the most psychedelic trip you can
go on: in Lasek's father's case, he surfaced from a morphine dream to talk about "a window"
on his blanket, with "a carpenter inside, making intricate objects." That experience pervades
the album, catching fire on the song "Christmas Can Wait"; elsewhere the band pays tribute
to the late Mark Hollis and, on "The Father of Time Wakes Up," they mourn the death of
In these scorched and pitted times, as the world smoulders, there might be nothing less
trendy than an hour-long psych-rock epic by a band of Canadian grandmasters. Then again,
there might be nothing we need more. ...The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is a
bright-blazing requiem: nine tunes that are one tune and six musicians who make one band -
unleashed and unconstrained, piercing and technicolour. At the end of the golden day, the
Besnard Lakes are right where they should be.
The album will be released on 2xLP clear vinyl, CD, and a very limited DINKED Edition
(exclusive to Dinked stores) pressed to orange / red splatter vinyl and including a bonus flexi
disc containing bonus track Superego not found anywhere else. Head here to pre-