Roadburn 2019 Adds Three Fests’ Worth of Bands to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2019 banner

Yeah, I put it at about three festival’s worth of bands added to Roadburn in this announcement. Maybe four. Consider Tomas Lindberg‘s curated event its own fest. Then you have the Holy Roar Records showcase with five bands playing. Then you have the announcements besides, and that’s enough for at least one fest on their own, if not two, so yes, at least three festivals happening here as Roadburn 2019 continues its let’s-be-all-things-to-all-people-and-actually-get-away-with-it push into new aesthetic territory, working to redefine and proliferate ideas of what “heavy” can and needs to encompass. If you don’t see this as an art project, you’re looking at it wrong.

I haven’t heard whether or not we’ll be doing the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch daily ‘zine as part of Roadburn 2019 next April, but of course I’m hopeful it happens. Hard to imagine a year without a Roadburn at this point. I’d prefer not to, actually.

Here’s the latest announcement in its yes-this-is-all-happening-at-one-fest totality:

roadburn 2019 mono

MONO, MYRKUR: FOLKESANGE, MARISSA NADLER, AND MORE ADDED TO ROADBURN 2019

– MONO to perform Hymn to the Immortal Wind as part of Tomas Lindberg’s curation
– Myrkur: Folkesange set to captivate the main stage
– Marissa Nadler will make her Roadburn debut
– Holy Roar x Roadburn showcase to take over Hall of Fame
– Day tickets on sale December 13

Of the new additions to the Roadburn line up, Artistic Director, Walter Hoeijmakers comments:

“We’re incredibly excited to announce this latest group of bands to the Roadburn line up. As well as representing well established artists, we have also included a huge array of boundary-pushing performances which will continue to expand the scope of the festival. These are artists that we believe will shape the future of heavy music.”

MONO & MORE FOR TOMAS LINDBERG’S CURATED EVENT

Tomas Lindberg has added a clutch of new bands to his curated event, The Burning Darkness, topped off by MONO who will be performing a special anniversary show.

The Japanese post-rock four piece will celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band, and the 10th anniversary of of their iconic album Hymn to the Immortal Wind with a full album set at Roadburn 2019. They will be joined on stage by the JO QUAIL QUARTET, adding another layer of lush instrumentation to their intricate tracks. Lindberg comments: “It is with great pride I present them as a part of my curation this year.”

In addition, Lindberg has chosen three further bands for his curated event. AGRIMONIA – who Lindberg loosely describes as “a more progressive Amebix” – plus Swedish dynamic prog outfit GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA have also been confirmed. Rounding out the new additions is ORCHESTRA OF CONSTANT DISTRESS – a hybrid of Brainbombs and Skull Defekts.

MYRKUR: FOLKESANGE

MYRKUR: FOLKESANGE will bring some folk magic to the main stage as she is accompanied by musicians including Heilung’s Christopher Juul, and celebrated cellist Jo Quail. Folkesange brings together both traditional Nordic folk songs, as well as her own original compositions in a mesmerising swirl of ethereal darkness.

MYRKUR will be performing with her metal band at the 013 on December 16, with support from Jo Quail.

MARISSA NADLER

Darkness comes in many forms, and one of the most beautiful we’ve witnessed this year is on the tracks of MARISSA NADLER’s latest album, For My Crimes. We’re thrilled that she will bring these songs – and more – to life, on the Roadburn stage this coming April.

HOLY ROAR X ROADBURN

For 12 years now, HOLY ROAR have been quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) releasing a steady stream of incredible albums. The label has become home to some of the most exciting rising bands around and we’re thrilled to team up with the label to bring you five of their brightest stars for HOLY ROAR X ROADBURN.

On Friday, April 12, the Hall of Fame venue will play host to the unapologetic abrasiveness of SVALBARD, the sonic alchemy of PIJN, the nihilistic post-metal of CONJURER, the genre-bending delights of SECRET CUTTER, and the label’s newest recruit, the haunting A.A.WILLIAMS

ALSO CONFIRMED….
BLACK BOMBAIM & PETER BRÖTZMAN will see Portuguese psych masters team up with a free jazz legend
BLISS SIGNAL will be fusing the jagged edges of blast beats and black metal with the hypnotic tremors of dark electronics
BOSSK will perform Audio Noir in full
CRYPT TRIP are a righteous trip back to days when acid-tinged rock was both exciting and thriving on attitude and energy
DEAF KIDS combine D-beat, and psychedelia with their South American roots
DEAF KIDS X PETBRICK will team up to deliver audio chaos
MALOKARPATAN offer a mix of the best classic heavy metal with an oblique take on black metal
MORNE will deliver a crushing dose of sludge
MYTHIC SUNSHIP are poised to deliver a set as iconic as their Another Shape of Psychedelic Music album
PETBRICK mix together crushing electronics with grinding drum violence, featuring Iggor Cavalera
RAKTA bring post punk, death rock, psych and just good old noisy garage rock’n’roll
STUCK IN MOTION prove there’s vibrancy in classic forms
TERRITOIRE performing Alix in full
THE END is the new project of saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bringing chaos and beauty to the Roadburn stage

TICKETS:
Single day tickets will go on sale on Thursday, December 13. Weekend tickets are on sale now

Tickets are be priced as follows:
3 days ticket (Thu-Sat) €181 + €4,50 service fee
4 days ticket (Thu-Sun) €204 + €4,50 service fee
Day ticket (Thu, Fri or Sat) €62 + €4,50 service fee
Sunday ticket €55,50 + €4,50 service fee

https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival/
http://www.twitter.com/Roadburnfest
http://www.instagram.com/roadburnfest
http://www.roadburn.com

Roadburn 2019 announcement video

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OHHMS Finish New Album; Announce Fall UK Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ohhms (Photo by Jake Owens)

Kent-based progressive heavy rockers OHHMS have a new album in the can following-up 2017’s sprawling six-tracker The Fool, and they’ll hit the road alongside Holy Roar Records labelmates Boss Keloid in October to celebrate the upcoming release. As it’s newly recorded and I’m not even sure it’s been mixed or mastered yet, I’d assume the new OHHMS won’t get here until 2019 at some point, but the post-whatnot five-piece will have new material to play on stage, so they’ll be giving an early preview on the five-date stint followed by a weekender in November.

If you didn’t hear The Fool, as somehow I didn’t, it’s streaming at the bottom of this post. It represents a pretty significant change in approach from the release before it, which was 2015’s Cold (review here).

Info follows from the PR wire:

ohhms tour

OHHMS join forces with Boss Keloid for their UK fall tour

Kent-based progressive heavy quintet OHHMS are set to hit the UK roads this fall with a 7-show run alongside fellow heavy heroes Boss Keloid.

The band comments: “We are incredibly excited for the upcoming October/November tour of the UK. As we have finished recording our album and have been hitting the rehearsal room hard we are ready to play our fresh material in front of you. The itch is about to be scratched and our new guitarist Stuart has brought a fresh dynamic to all we do – We know our fans are going to love it. On top of this we have invited Boss Keloid to join us on every date and this will be the first time they have toured their latest album, ‘Melted on the Inch’ since it’s release earlier this year. Join us.”
OHHMS UK fall tour with Boss Keloid

23.10.18 – BRISTOL – Exchange
24.10.18 – NOTTINGHAM – The Maze
25.10.18 – BIRMINGHAM – The Victoria
26.10.18 – LEICESTER – Vault
27.10.18 – GLASGOW – Classic Grand Lounge
09.11.18 – LONDON – Macbeth
10.11.18 – MANCHESTER – Satan’s Hollow

Artwork by Steven Myles

True to themselves, OHHMS continue their boundary-free ascension to even more transcending sonic peaks, while making a point at raising awareness about animal rights and social matters with a unique, cathartic approach.

https://www.facebook.com/OHHMStheband/
https://twitter.com/ohhmstheband
https://ohhms.bandcamp.com/
http://www.holyroarrecords.com/

OHHMS, The Fool (2017)

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Boss Keloid Perform Melted on the Inch Live in Studio

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

boss keloid

I’d like to think more bands would do this if they had access to the resources to make it happen, but the truth is most bands do. It’s easy enough to put word out on thee social medias that you’re looking for a couple cameras to film, and if you’ve made an album, chances are you have access to a studio or mixing board of some kind already, so there you go. Live-in-studio performance video. So why don’t more acts put out live performance videos, either of individual songs or, as UK progressive heavy rockers Boss Keloid have, their full albums? I think they’re intimidated.

It’s kind of a scary thought, isn’t it? You just put your heart, time, effort and money into making the best record you can possibly make. It’s out, you feel really good about it even after the pain in the ass that was mixing, waiting for the master, and so on. Reviews are good. Now you’re supposed to get back in the studio and play the whole thing live and film it? Fuck that. Book a show, pick your favorites, play ’em live, sell some vinyl and kick ass. Nothing wrong with that approach — people do it every day. Boss Keloid, though, don’t seem like the type to shy away from a good challenge.

The Wigan five-piece released their latest outing, Melted on the Inch (review here), earlier this year on Holy Roar Records, and it presented a bold step forward in their sound and approach overall. Their songwriting has grown to be more thoughtful and aware of the full-album flow of which each track is a part, and their movements within songs have become more nuanced without losing their central edge or their effective conveyance of tonal weight. In an absolutely saturated UK heavy underground, Boss Keloid stand out with an individualized approach and a bravery of style that obviously extends to their willingness to bring their material to life in the rawest of gotta-prove-it settings. Because if Melted on the Inch didn’t work, there’s just about no way to hide that fact while engaged in a project like this.

They emerge unscathed, however, and in the 41-minute clip, they run through each of the album’s six tracks and give proof positive of their creative energy and forward thinking mindset. If you don’t feel like watching the full video, the audio of the session is also streaming at Boss Keloid‘s Bandcamp, and I’ve included the player near the bottom of this post for your streaming convenience. Well worth your time, in any case.

Dig it:

Boss Keloid, Melted on the Inch live at Alien Sound Studio

“Melted On The Inch” – Live In Full at Alien Sound Studio – 2018

Audio recorded, mixed and mastered by Mark Wainwright at:
Alien Sound Studio, Cock Farm, Spa Ln, Lathom, Ormskirk L40 6JQ
aliensound.co.uk

Footage by Chris Bibby at shootsyou.com

Produced and edited by Ste Arands

Melted On The Inch is six anthemic tracks showcasing a matured, evolved BOSS KELOID, as the Wigan based quintet continue to flirt with new genres. Littered with unmistakably Boss Keloidy riffs, Melted On The Inch disrupts notions of genre and song structure. This is rousing, heavy-tinged progressive rock as BOSS KELOID daringly hold, dip and release the reins of the mighty riff whilst Alex Hurst’s bellowing, primal vocals, which are more dynamic than ever, enthrallingly envelop each track. These are undoubtedly the biggest, most intense songs BOSS KELOID have ever written.

Melted On The Inch is now available from Holy Roar Records in the UK/EU here and Deathwish Inc in the USA here.

Buy “Melted On The Inch” here: http://smarturl.it/BOSSKELOID

Boss Keloid is:
Ste Arands – Drums and Percussion
Alex Hurst – Vocals and Guitar
Matthew Milne – Keyboards
Charlie Seisay – Bass
Paul Swarbrick – Guitar

Boss Keloid, Melted on the Inch: Live at Alien Sound Studios

Boss Keloid on Thee Facebooks

Boss Keloid on Instagram

Boss Keloid on Bandcamp

Holy Roar Records website

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Boss Keloid Sign to Holy Roar Records; Melted on the Inch Album Teaser Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

One has to wonder just how much of the vibe the new teaser for Boss Keloid‘s impending third album, Melted on the Inch, can actually serve to summarize the release. The Wigan, UK, five-piece have signed to Holy Roar Records to issue the record — and kudos and judos on that, as it’s a good fit — but even if one goes by their woefully cartoon-titted 2016 sophomore effort, Herb Your Enthusiasm (review here), as an example, it’s hard to think of a single minute-long stretch that could capture what it was all about. It was just too all over the place. Though, to be fair, the impression I get from the clip below is that when all is said and done much the same will apply to Melted on the Inch, so maybe the teaser is doing its job after all.

Okay, I talked myself into it. We’re all good now.

Boss Keloid‘s Melted on the Inch will be out Spring 2018 via Holy Roar Records.

The PR wire remains clearheaded on the subject, as always:

boss keloid

British Heavy Prog Psych Chiefs BOSS KELOID Sign To Holy Roar Records; Announce New Album

British heavy prog psych chiefs BOSS KELOID have signed a worldwide deal with Holy Roar Records and are set to release their highly anticipated third album in Spring 2018.

After earning acclaimed reviews for Herb Your Enthusiasm (2016) and The Calming Influence of Teeth (2013), BOSS KELOID’s notoriety for producing heavy and magnificently multilayered music has continued to grow. Having joined Holy Roar’s outstanding roster the quintet is poised to continue the momentum that’s been building since their formation in 2010. Now the band are set to take on the world with the release of Melted On The Inch, an evolution in sound and style from the band’s previously relentlessly heavy psych sludge to a dominant multi-dimensional progressive force.

The band comments: “We are delighted to be signing to Holy Roar for the release of our new album, Melted On The Inch. They’re a progressive and passionate label with an ethos that we strongly admire and relate to, so it’s really cool that they’ve shown a great deal of interest and passion in our music. It’s an honour to join such a musically strong and diverse roster.

For us, Melted On The Inch is a strong progression from Herb Your Enthusiasm. It draws from a much wider pond of influence than our previous. It is more progressive, more uplifting, more melancholic, more emotional, more dynamic, there is a greater emphasis on light and shade, it is heavier, it is more delicate, it has more beauty, it has more darkness.“

In addition to their critically acclaimed releases, BOSS KELOID have become revered for their devastatingly heavy live shows, gigging and touring extensively with an array of artists such as Bongzilla, John Garcia, Crowbar, Scissorfight, Bongripper, Conan, Mars Red Sky and Raging Speedhorn plus appearing at renowned festivals such as Bloodstock, ArcTanGent, Deserfest London, Hammerfest, HRH Doom Vs Stoner and Uprising.

More details for Melted On The Inch will be revealed soon.

https://www.facebook.com/bosskeloidband
https://twitter.com/bosskeloid
http://www.bosskeloid.bandcamp.com/
http://www.holyroarrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/holyroarrecords/

Boss Keloid, Melted on the Inch teaser

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Ohhms European Tour Starts Oct. 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ohhms

Some right-on dates included as a part of UK prog metallers Ohhms‘ upcoming European run. As the Kent five-piece head out in support of earlier-2017’s Holy Roar Records debut full-length, The Fool, they’ll hit Mammothfest in Brighton and Desertfest Belgium 2017 as the first two dates on an eight-show run that caps in the Netherlands with a penultimate stop at Into the Void in Leeuwarden. Pretty solid stuff, and the band seem to have earned their place in those lineups with the response to The Fool, from which they have a video for “The World” now playing at the bottom of this post.

Or playing as soon as you click play, anyhow. The whole album is also up on their Bandcamp, if you’d like to dig a little further.

The PR wire has the poster and the info:

ohhms euro tour

British progressive metallers OHHMS announce European tour; Desertfest and Into The Void performances confirmed!

UK’s most fire-driven progressive metal quintet OHHMS have announced a significant batch of festival and club shows to take place in Europe this fall. Not to be missed.

This European tour is in line with the widely acclaimed release of their debut album “The Fool” this spring on Holy Roar Records. Praised across the globe, it has elevated the UK five piece to a whole new level since their 2014 beginnings.

After a long run of UK dates alongside Hark and Bossk, OHHMS are set to mesmerize European crowds for the first time in 2017, as well as thousands of metal connaisseurs at the likes of Desertfest Belgium and Into The Void Festival. See full list of shows below:

OHHMS European tour:
08.10 – Brighton (UK) Mammothfest
14.10 – Antwerpen (BE) Desertfest Belgium
15.10 – Copenhagen (DK) KB18
17.10 – Dusseldorf (DE) Pitcher
18.10 – Stuttgart (DE) Jugendhaus West
19.10 – Oberhausen (DE) Druckluft
20.10 – Leeuwarden (NL) Into The Void Festival
21.10 – Haarlen (NL) Patronaat

Poster by Anoop Bhat.

OHHMS formed in 2014 in Kent, UK. It didn’t take long for the five-piece to come up with two stellar EPs “Bloom” (2014) and “Cold” (2015), both released on London-based extreme music powerhouse Holy Roar Records. OHHMS quickly built a strong reputation among the UK’s underground scene, which led them to play major events such as Desertfest, ArcTanGent, Bloodstock, Damnation, Incubate and many others. Three years after their thunderous beginnings, the band is back in March 2017 with their debut full-length “The Fool” on Holy Roar Records. True to themselves, OHHMS continue their boundary-free ascension in quest of the sonic panacea, more determined than ever to brand minds with their cathartic, transcending creations.

https://www.facebook.com/OHHMStheband/
https://twitter.com/ohhmstheband
https://ohhms.bandcamp.com/
http://www.holyroarrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/holyroarrecords
https://twitter.com/holyroarrecords

Ohhms, “The World” official video

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Wren Post “The Herd” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wren

Preorders are up now for Wren‘s debut album, Auburn Rule, which is out July 14 via Holy Roar Records. How’s that old song go? To everything, churn, churn churn? Something like that. The post-sludging UK four-piece seem to have taken that ethic to heart either way, if “The Herd” is anything to go by. It’s the first audio to be made public from Auburn Rule, which follows Wren‘s 2016 EP, Host (review here), a 2015 split with Irk (review here) and their 2014 self-titled debut EP (review here), and it would seem to be the next logical step forward in their sonic development, which has proven equal parts menacingly heavy and markedly progressive.

Like the song itself, the video for “The Herd” wants little for atmosphere. In fact, that’s kind of the whole thing. Black and white nature shots, hooded figure, dark grayscale kaleidoscopic imagery — all of it is appropriately suited to Wren‘s aggressive but spacious aural crux. The band has pointedly evolved with each new offering, and “The Herd” seems to take its cues from where they were with Host in its cerebral flow from one movement to the next as Wren evoke bleak pastures akin to the clip’s visual depictions. Hardcore roots shine through in starts and stops and the buried-beneath-tone shouted vocals, lending even more bite strength to the track’s sharpened-tooth assault.

Auburn Rule is out in less than a month, and I have my doubts “The Herd” will be the last sneak preview given to listeners before it arrives, so keep an eye out. I’ve been looking forward to finding out what Wren can do in the context of a first full-length since I heard the EP three years ago, and I continue to be excited at the prospect after getting to know this track better. I’ll hope to have more to come soon.

Till then, dig in and enjoy:

Wren, “The Herd” official video

Taken from their debut album ‘Auburn Rule’.

Out 14.07.17 on Holy Roar Records, preorder now: www.holyroarrecords.com

Directed by: www.gardenback.com

Following on from the release of their ‘Host’ EP last year, London-based progressive sludge/noise-rock four-piece Wren, have announced details of their new album ‘Auburn Rule’, which is due out 14th July 2017 via Holy Roar Records.

To coincide with the release of ‘Auburn Rule’ Wren have also announced a short UK release tour with Fvnerals, they will be playing the following dates:

30th June – London – Birthdays
1st July – Birmingham – The Flapper
2nd July – Bristol – The Cube
3rd July – Cardiff – The Full Moon
4th July – Brighton – The Prince Albert

Wren on Thee Facebooks

Wren on Bandcamp

Wren on Twitter

Wren website

Holy Roar Records website

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Wren Announce Debut Full-Length Auburn Rule Due in July; UK Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wren

Whether or not you heard it, Wren‘s 2016 EP, Host (review here) was one of last year’s best short releases. Their second four-songer behind a 2014 self-titled (review here) that was likewise moody and brutal, the latter release pushed into growlier, harsher terrain, more metal on the whole as well as basking in the post-hardcore-meets-sludge vibes of its predecessor. What their sonic development might hold for Auburn Rule, I don’t know, but the safe bet is it’s going to be heavy in some ridiculous proportion. What will serve as their first full-length will be out July 14 following a quick UK tour with Fvnerals and will be released by Holy Roar Records, which if you’ll recall also put out Host. If it ain’t broke.

These cats have done nothing but impress since they got going, and my big question going into the record is how much of their focus will be on atmosphere vs. pummel, since that seems to be the dichotomy at work in their aesthetic thus far. Where that balance will come down this time out as they take this crucial step in putting out their first album.

Hopefully I’ll have more to come on this one before it’s released. Here’s info from the PR wire in the interim:

wren auburn rule

Wren announce new album ‘Auburn Rule’ and UK tour.

AUBURN RULE | 14.07.17

Following on from the release of their ‘Host’ EP last year, London-based progressive sludge/noise-rock four-piece Wren, have announced details of their new album ‘Auburn Rule’, which is due out 14th July 2017 via Holy Roar Records.

The band have released the artwork for the new album (above) and have detailed the track listing as below:

1. In Great Yield
2. Scour The Grassland
3. The Herd
4. Traverse
5. Dwellers Of The Sepulchre

To coincide with the release of ‘Auburn Rule’ Wren have also announced a short UK release tour with Fvnerals, they will be playing the following dates:

30th June – London – Birthdays
1st July – Birmingham – The Flapper
2nd July – Bristol – The Cube
3rd July – Cardiff – The Full Moon
4th July – Brighton – The Prince Albert

https://www.facebook.com/Disciplesofwren/
https://disciplesofwren.bandcamp.com/
http://twitter.com/disciplesofwren
http://www.disciplesofwren.com/
http://www.holyroarrecords.com/

Wren, Host (2016)

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Wren, Host: No Seance for the Living (Plus Full EP Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 22nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

wren host

[Click play above to stream Wren’s Host in its entirety. EP out April 29 on Holy Roar Records.]

It was only two years ago that London post-sludge outfit Wren made their debut with a self-titled EP (review here) that found them immediately distinguished from among their many peers in the UK undergound. Since that early 2014 EP, Wren have put together a 2015 split with Irk (review here) the four-song EP Host, forthcoming from Holy Roar Records, both of which have featured changes in the lineup. Operating as the four-piece now of Owen Jones, Chris Pickering, Robert Letts and John McCormick, the band retain the sonic force of their two earlier/earliest offerings, but complement it with a cohesiveness of songcraft that’s on display here in a swaying cut like “The Ossuary” and the catchy “No Seance” (video posted here) that makes their overarching attack that much stronger.

Adding to that a structure that has Host playing two sides off each other to give its four inclusions a longer-shorter/shorter-longer flow and a pervasive sense of atmosphere in even the heaviest, rawest moments, and Host‘s densely weighted roll finds Wren beginning to pay off the potential that the first EP and split showed, even with different personnel involved at very least in terms of who’s fronting the band. A resounding churn will find Host compared to Isis and maybe Amenra, but there’s a post-hardcore bark in Wren‘s shouts that keeps them attuned to a sense of sludgy rawness while also adding aggression to the already smoldering material.

Opener “Stray” and closer “Loom” sandwich “No Seance” and “The Ossuary.” Both songs top eight minutes, and “Stray” begins with an immediate push of deep low-end and interplay of atmospheric riffing, the groove weighted but already in motion with the first verse. It’s not the most urgent thrust of Host, but it recalls some of Swarm of the Lotus‘ less chaotic moments and leads to an instrumental bridge that winds its way back toward a churn and interwoven layers of noise-rock guitar to fill out the chugging insistence. A slowdown before the halfway mark pushes the vocals farther back, but is short-lived as Wren are soon back up and steamrolling forward again toward a break of grabbed-cymbals and manic guitar-led rhythm that takes them to the song’s halfway point, which moves toward a wash of feedback that seems like it’s going to end the track, but at 5:39 kicks into a full-toned post-metallic crunch that provides an apex prior to the actual finish, also in feedback and noise.

wren (Photo by Gardenback)

Bass starts “No Seance” and is joined soon by guitar feedback and the drums. Though the shortest track on Host, “No Seance” is a highlight without question. More straightforward structurally than “Stray,” but also given a release-defining hook, it also makes no less of an impact, opening farther as it moves toward its second chorus, the drums holding a steady forward pattern to propel the chugging riff before swapping back to toms for nod-ready starts and stops that finish out, staggeringly heavy, completely in control and unremitting in their aggression.

That sense of poise and purpose continues onto “The Ossuary” at what’s the start of the vinyl’s side B. Though also shorter than either “Stray” or “Loom,” it’s nonetheless more open-feeling than “No Seance,” which was so much about its call and response in the chorus, and executes its linear course with a patient tempo early, swapping out at its midpoint toward a more unbridled push that gradually smooths itself into another crash-pushed nod, only to turn around again and move through once more. In that way, “The Ossuary” is almost like two songs put together, but especially in the context of Host as a whole, it works. Further, it readjusts the scope of the EP as a whole in a way that lets “Loom” go just about wherever it wants.

With echoing room-mic vocals over cycles of guitar, bass and tom runs, the opening of the closer recalls some of the first EP’s most post-rock moments, but on the whole, Wren have become a much more aggressive act in the last two years, and as “Loom” moves into its fierce push, a reminder of that is served. Some slow-motion blasting transitions back into the intro progression but degrades into noise to setup the final movement in the fuller second half, which plays out like a more single-minded version of “The Ossuary” but ultimately locks into a rolling riff that fades to close the EP, Wren leaving just a bit of threat behind that they might fade back in any any moment without actually doing so. I said as much when I posted the video for “No Seance,” but Host is an easy candidate for one of 2016’s best short releases, and while I don’t know if Wren have completely settled their lineup once and for all, if they were to press forward with a debut full-length as they are on these four tracks, there’s no way you wouldn’t call them ready for the task.

Wren on Thee Facebooks

Wren website

Wren on Bandcamp

Wren at Holy Roar Records

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