Wednesday – Rat Saw God – Album Review
by Killian Laher
American band Wednesday have been on the go since 2017 and this is their fifth album. It seems that they combine classic rock stylings with shoegaze, a combination which shouldn’t work, but on the evidence of this, they pull it off. It opens with Hot Rotten Grass Smell, which shoves gauzy guitars and a load of ideas into 95 seconds, and needless to say, is pretty good! The following track, Bull Believer, takes the opposite approach. It sounds initially like Snail Mail singing over an understated Sonic Youth, before great big Nirvana-style riffs kick in. The track sounds like it has three or four different competing guitar parts, from navel-gazing picking to heavy riffs, as Karly Hartzman’s vocals get more and more unhinged, ending up with her literally screaming her lungs out, a trick she repeats later on in Bath County. There is so much going on in this eight-and-a-half minute track, as it speeds up gradually, with the guitar work really letting loose. It’s the type of thing bands usually put at the end of an album, but here it falls second. It’s certainly a centrepiece as it occupies more than 20% of it.
After this? There’s plenty of meat on the remaining eight songs. Got Shocked is an excellent slice of heavy shoegaze, and it’s done and dusted in less than two and a half minutes. The swooning Formula One is slower, and less intense, with an almost country feel. Chosen To Deserve is almost classic rock, but the guitar riffs are a bit ragged for mainstream appeal, despite the bit of steel guitar thrown in seemingly at random. Quarry nods gently to the Kinks’ Waterloo Sunset before taking off in a heavier direction. The slow downbeat of What’s So Funny works well as a kind of comedown track towards the end of the album, and the whole thing is rounded off with the winsome pop of TV In The Gas Pump.
It’s one of these albums where you won’t really understand what’s going on lyrically or musically, but with so much going on, it’s one that will fascinate for weeks to come. By the end of it, you’ll be looking to hear it all over again – an excellent sign if one were needed. With this album, Wednesday have definitely arrived.
Chosen To Deserve
Categories: Album Reviews, Header, Music
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