The Beige, a quietly innovative roots quintet from Vancouver, released two critically-acclaimed independent albums between 2006 and 2010. The band was founded by songwriter and author Rick Maddocks, and featured Jon Wood, Mark Haney, Andrew Arida and Geoff Gilliard. The tour-shy band developed an underground following thanks to its improvisational live shows and rich, multi-layered recordings blending alt-country and jazz, folk and Latin forms.
The Beige's debut album 01 (2006) was a minimalist, low-key experiment recorded in various apartments over a number of years. It featured songs such as "One for Me" and "Hammer in a Bell" that enjoyed radio airplay in Canada. In 2010, El Angel Exterminador saw The Beige explore its maximalist and mysterious side, with apocalyptic songs including "Road" and "The Exterminating Angel", earning the album's tag "the great Canadian feel-not-so-good album".
Some Reviews of EL ÁNGEL EXTERMINADOR
“The Beige’s El Ángel Exterminador is a flat-out gem of sweeping melancholia…This is smart and angry songwriting, given a perverse sheen of beauty. There couldn’t be a classier soundtrack for hoarding water, tinned food and ammo. 4/5.” –Adrian Mack, The Georgia Straight
“Incredibly atmospheric fare from this Vancouver quintet that employs eclectic instrumentation...lyrics are pure poetry that bend and shape to fit the angular rhythms. A truly original sound. 4/5" -- Greg Potter, TV Week
“The album sinisterly uses a smooth and almost playful ambient jazz-pop sound, juxtaposed against apocalyptic-flavoured lyrics of death, squalor and disassociation. Like some bizarre alchemy, this strange combination works incredibly well, creating a balance between dark and light that is surprisingly uplifting and joyful. 4/5.”—Jim Dean, Vue Weekly
"El Ángel Exterminador is a CD I could listen to all day long...If you are looking for some original music that's anything but boring, with intense imagery, theatric or cinematic compositional style, and a wide range of elements, this album will not disappoint (5/5)" -- Nathan Stafford, The Skinny Magazine
"CD of the Week: moody, atmospheric, orchestral and, well, depressing. But it's also swinging, marching and altogether a joy to listen to. Songwriter Rick Maddocks knows how to craft a tasty dirge." – Stuart Derdeyne, Vancouver Province
“Latin, rock and alt-countryish explorations that delve into the darker, sometimes uncomfortably quieter corners. There's poetry to the pastiche, method to the melancholy. Sophisticated songwriting that could probably use a hug. 4/5.”
–Jamie O’Meara, The Hour
El Ángel Exterminador is now available in Vancouver record stores as well as on iTunes and CD Baby.
Review bites on the debut cd "01":
"The Beige is a new musical force in Vancouver" -- Marke Andrews, Vancouver Sun.
"The result is a disc of literate roots-pop for urban dwellers, with a we-get-there-when-we-do attitude that coalesces into dusty, lovely ballads." -- Shawn Conner, Vancouver Courier.
"A record that fuses popular and experimental forms into a coherent whole is a rare thing, and this is a record of rare beauty."--Americana UK
"A gorgeously spacious thing.... as melodic and lyrically striking as Wilco at its most incisive--and more overtly catchy." -- Ken Eisner, The Georgia Straight.