The Montreal-based husband-and-wife duo of the Besnard Lakes really work some of the old yin-and-yang magic on their debut release The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse. Throughout the eight tracks, the push-and-pull of crunchy guitars versus delicate, stringy instrumentation seems to reflect the dynamic between Olga Goreas and Jace Lasek themselves (with wife Goreas, seemingly the prime instigator for the power chords). It's a slightly indulgent affair, but the only way to get these seemingly disparate qualities to play nice on an album together is to sweat over it -- and sweat they did, but not on somebody else's timecard. Utilizing their own studio, Goreas and Lasek could, and did, take plenty of time getting their vision to come through in the mixes, and the ebb-and-flow between abrasive and lilting isn't half as jarring as you might think. It's like a Beach Boys album when it's calm and a Queen album when it's crunchy, but all filtered through what must be one hell of a record collection over at the Goreas-Lasek homestead.
AllMusic Review by J. Scott McClintock