Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tension isn't always a bad thing

I had to double-check, but Western Vinyl is one of the labels I've mentioned most here on Ear To The Sound. I don't do it intentionally, but I sometimes play favourites with labels because - if they build their roster right - there's usually some sort of overlap or common appeal to the artists they release (which is not to say their roster is cookie-cutter identical). So it is with this Austin label - I've written about or mentioned Ola Podrida, Secret Cities (who also have a great new album out right now), Sleep Whale and Botany in the past and now, thanks to their deft decision-making, South Bronx duo Wires Under Tension have been added to their line-up and my playlists.

Like Russian Circles, Wires Under Tension are another one of those duos who manage to make way more music than two people should be capable of producing. And like Russian Circles, multi-instrumentalist Christopher Tignor and drummer Theo Metz convey a great deal of emotion and ideas in their lyric-less tunes. Metz is the muscle of the outfit - he pounds the hell out of the drums on "Position and Hold" and "A List of Things to Light on Fire." But that doesn't mean he's all brawn and no brains; the proof is in the intricacy and fluidity of his drumming on "Irreversible Machines" and "Mnemonics in Motion."

As you'd expect from a band with the moniker Tignor and Metz chose, listening to Light Science can feel like your heart is in a vise grip sometimes - there's an urgency to much of the material and it can be unrelenting. After it ends though, you're left with the same breathless exhilaration that accompanies an activity like bungee jumping or a riding a big roller coaster. Light Science is the best kind of intense.

This isn't an official video for "Electricity Turns Them On," but it's still my favourite track on the record:

If you like it, Western Vinyl has it available as a free download here, and if you want to see an actual video, check out "Mnemonics In Motion," which admittedly is also a great track.

Check out their website and Western Vinyl artist page.

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