Wolf Eyes - Undertow

by Steve Reynolds Rating:5 Release Date:2017-03-24

Wolf Eyes are busy fellas, not content with putting out new music they’ve also gone and launched their own record label; Lower Floor Music.  This, their new album called Undertow is the debut release for the label and is small and compact at a mere five tracks in total.

Purveyors of creating unsettling soundscapes using a multitude of musical sins we’re presented with eerie opener of the same album name.  A mix of heavy blackened shards of electronica, bereft of danceability but laden with enough gloom to be considered for the beginning titles of a slasher movie.  The feel is distinctly lo-fi and sinister and the twists and turns flit across like fireflies making for a disturbing opening gambit, it’s accompanied by a haunting spoken word which leaves a cold and frightening infection of the dark side.

The ensemble of creepiness continues on the short but sweet Laughing Tides. Coming under at just two minutes it remains low on the cheeriness scale with a scorched sound which wouldn’t sit out of place on Death In Vegas’s glorious ‘Contino Sessions’ album.

The acerbic almost deathly ‘Texas’ is followed by the visceral ‘Empty Island’.  They stick to a tried and tested template and refuse to be drawn into making it a comfortable listen.  It’s an album that benefits from headphones just so you can pick up all the off slope bits and bobs of noise.

Final track ‘Thirteen’ is the album’s heavyweight moment.  Weighing in at ahem, 13 minutes and covered in a vocal of anguish, similar to Brian Mahan of Slint at times this is a sedate low hum of a track with what sounds like a bunch of honey bees bashing around in the foreground attacking the voice with a chilling effect.

Undertow is an album of gut twisting, morose electronica and you’ll need to choose your moment to listen to it as it’s a very challenging listen.

 

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