19 February 2017

Fret! - Through The Wound The Light Comes In

Ah, Fret!  I would like to start this review with an apology that I did not get around to reviewing the 'Killing Nico' EP which I purchased last year, it is still on the to do list.  But I did enjoy the 'Killing Susan EP' (review cleverly linked here) that the band sent me and it is a glorious release.  Anyway, this album from the North-East version (and I wish I had have come up with this quote) of a depressing Beach Boys was recorded in January this year at a space called The Sound Rooms in Gateshead in January 2017, once again produced by M.P. Wood and it has been released in quick fashion as well on 17th February 2017.  There is a limited run of CD's for this release (purchased) and it is also being released as a digital album as well (which I was able to download from Bandcamp, hence this review).  The cover created by Tom McCarthaigh for this release is fantastically creepy, it could be the cover of a horror album and I would have also have picked it for our Cover Roulette series; but this time, I am picking this up as a fan and it is time to see how it sounds. 

01 - DK

Starting the album with more swagger than a villain in a western, 'DK' is an instrumental post rock number and what a song it is!  This a brilliant number that has frantic drumming, moody slices and an aggressive set of riffs that all combine to give a sonic punch to the chest.  It is best played loud, very loud in fact and within an inch of the speakers’ life’s as it slows down to a brilliant sludge sound at the end of the song.

02 - Freeman

'Freeman' is one of a few tracks that has vocals from Fret!, so whenever they use vocals on any of their releases, it stands out with a vivid fire.  This slow piece is unsettling from the outset, it gives chills as it sounds terrifying and without remorse or patience for anything other than its own sinister intent.  I love the uneasy feeling I get from this song, I love that unnerving set of chords that is being driven over your mind over and over again - what a song!

03 - Attune

A song that I have reviewed before as it was the A-side to 'Cowboy'; This version has a darker edge to the sound whilst the original has a live hall feeling to the sound.  The extra warmth to the sound on this version adds weight to the notes, it gives the song an organic and natural feeling that makes all the difference when it finally drops those large music explosions on to you.  I really like this version of the song, another good recording.

04 - Tired

It is in and out very quickly with this number, but it might not be in the way that you are probably imagining it at this moment.  It is a short punching number that is very measured, very precise in it delivery and it does not come out at a hundred miles an hour as you would think a sub-two-minute song would.  There is a deep rumbling behind the noise of the guitars, the bass keeps both in check and it really could have been expanded, but that is just a personal opinion on that one.

05 - Loop

'Loop' picks up where 'Tired' left off and adds more layers to the noise, this time with added fire from everyone and a feeling that the long coming flood has finally been unleashed onto the listener.  I like it when the band adds those frantic layers to their sound as it makes the hairs on my neck stand on end.  'Loop' is a perfect name as it does loop around you like a solid entity and it sticks in your brain with demonic ease, who said instrumental music was boring......

06 - Judders

Heading down another post-rock sludge route, 'Judders' feels like it is a work in progress.  It is a slow and pounding number that has a great hook in the bass line with some fantastic sections in its short lifespan, but it also feels like it is a few moments too short, as if it is needing just a little bit more time to expand on what could be a fantastic number.  It is good, but I do not think that band are finished here.

07 - Cawlett

The amplifier worship is in full effect on this song, the reverb and rumbling is incredibly low and it feels like it is over in an instant!  Over five minutes and it blows you away from the subtle fade in at the beginning and the drowning out at the end.  The ranting about not being able to purchase shoes for a child, it sounds as if it was recorded with the memories of a past rant and it feels cathartic just to listen to it.  It is another intense number, one which is rewarding after multiple listens.

08 - Hillbilly

After 'Cawlett' we have the explosion that is 'Hillbilly' and it sounds like anarchy in comparison to the amplifier drone of the previous track.  It is another number that is over incredibly quickly, this time it feels like it is full formed and the energy that pulses out of the speaker is just a great wave of fierce noise.

09 - Surf

Ending this release is 'Surf' which was very close to being my song of the album, with a surf rock feeling to the song and it comes at you with a relentless drive behind all the instruments.  It is not short on energy, pace and definitely ends this album on such a high note that it is very easy to reach for the repeat listen straight away - what a song.

This is a great release from Fret! and it is also one that gives me great hope for their future, the recording with M.P. Wood adds so much depth to their sonic attacks that it should be laid down as a weapon of choice in a duel.  There is so much reverb, noise and sound that it ends up acting like a third member to this band, it is a truly wonderful piece of post-rock noise.  I would recommend to you that you head over and purchase the CD version as soon as possible, do not wait for this to be on streaming sites as it is quite possibly one of the best albums to have been released so far this year and we are only two months into the year.

9 out of ten - Almost perfect, almost.....

Top track - Loop

You can purchase Through The Wound The Light Comes In on the Fret! Bandcamp page here; there is a limited-edition CD which you can pre-order as well.

You can follow the activities of Fret! on Facebook here.

At the time of writing, Through The Wound The Light Comes In is not on any streaming site; but I would recommend you purchase it directly from the band anyway.

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