Despite the lethargy or maybe because of it, there’s something about this record that is very good, almost enchanting, maybe it’s pure attitude that drips from the music, almost like sap from a tree. You get the feeling they really don’t give a shit. I do, I like it.
What is witchgaze? That’s what one of this LP’s Bandcamp tags reads. Can someone more “with it” enlighten me please? One thing I can tell you; the band has tunes, shorter and poppier than I would imagine whatever witchgaze turns out to be, (no I’m not checking and no, I don’t think it will help my opinion, thanks all the same). So, old gitdom aside, this LPs from Is/Is shouldn’t need any excuses or explanatory tags to enjoy. It’s great.
Is/Is are adept at dredging up riffs from rock’s subsoil or a mindset that exists on some lower strata: Fire sounds like an extremely low grade, growly take on Read It In Books – albeit without the chorus. A sludgy affair, not much given to making an effort, it just stops and starts now and again. Lie Awake stirs itself to by presenting the listener with a chorus and a melody line. And Bomb Me is another lethargic crawl through a couple of chords, with a lazy hike of octave thrown in. It’s a watchful, wary and sensual sound. Hate Smile and Shadow are great growly stand-offs, which have a sort of percussive skip in the chorus or the refrain that makes it irresistible. Again there’s something of the early Bunnymen in there, it’s just the turn of phrase or chord.
The longest track on the LP is the exemplar, their signature tune. This song, Sun Tsunami, is a grungey, spacey plod led by the nose by an attractive riff and coaxed into some form of action by a languid vocal. Of course the whole thing dips now and again into a sea of guitar noise and wailing vox. It’s one of those things you’ve heard a thousand times before but (seemingly) never get tired of.
So you should get the picture: the accent is on the horizontal, the sensual and the downright moody. There are a couple of deviations from the template in the form of two instrumental pieces called, guess, that’s right, Untitled… which are nice slivers of sound to draw breath from this constant display of slightly stroppy cool. Also we must make mention of Loose Skin and Moon Dropping, both agreeably poppy skips. Whatever, there’s something about this record that is enchanting, maybe it’s pure attitude that drips from the music, almost like sap from a tree. You get the feeling they really don’t give a shit. I do, I like it.