Bark Psychosis are an English post-rock band/musical project from East London formed in 1986. They were one of the bands that Simon Reynolds cited when coining "post-rock" as a musical style in 1994, and are thus considered one of the key bands defining the genre. Graham Sutton is the leader and consistent core member of the group, which is currently a flexible project consisting of Sutton supported by an altering roster of guest musicians.
During its original incarnation, the group was a more conventional quartet: Graham Sutton, Daniel Gish, John Ling and Mark Simnett. This line-up recorded most of the early EPs and the seminal 1994 album Hex.The recording of the album consolidated the ideas which the band had explored on "Scum". As had been the case with Scum, the sessions made extensive use of the natural acoustics of St John’s Church, with other recording work done in studios in Bath, Brighton and London.
The recording of Hex proved to be tortuous, with plenty of infighting centred around Sutton's stubbornness and dominance of the band. Daniel Gish left Bark Psychosis towards the end of the sessions citing "lack of record company support" as his motive for leaving.His departure was formally announced in Melody Maker on December 18, 1993, with Sutton quoted as saying "All I can say is the split was amicable." The last track from the sessions - Big Shot - was recorded by the remaining three members. Once Hex was completed, John Ling also quit Bark Psychosis, feeling "burnt out and unable to play", allegedly due to the stress of making the album. Sutton was later to comment "I know I can be "difficult" to work with; I get very opinionated - and I'll fight tooth and nail for what I believe in. John had a problem with that and chose to leave.
Hex was released on February 14, 1994. It was licensed to Circa Records (a division of Virgin Records) and released worldwide through EMI. In the USA, the album was released on Caroline Records in the USA. When British music critic Simon Reynolds reviewed the album in the March 1994 issue of Mojo magazine, he used the term "post-rock" to describe the band's approach to music. He later expanded upon the idea in the May 1994 issue of The Wire.While this was not the first use of the term, it was the example which brought the "post-rock" concept to public knowledge to the point where it was a major stylistically-defining term in music criticism and discourse during the 1990s. This review (and the subsequent discussion which it inspired) ensured that Bark Psychosis were one of the first bands recognised as being post-rock artists. Although Hex was not a commercial success at the time, it has continued to sell steadily over the years and retains a reputation as a key album in post-rock and experimental rock circles.