Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Death Of Her Money - White Light (EP) (2013)

We've all heard bands that hide behind solo after solo, in hopes that their inadequacy in songwriting will be masked by speed and whammy bar prominence. There will always be a place in the music hierarchy for the purveyors of the tasty lick, but their need is waning. The Death Of Her Money, a three piece from Wales, is a part of the new school of heavy music, more reliant on groove and distortion than bending strings and leather pants. They've already been recognized for their competency, having been recognized by the renowned Rocksound magazine for their previous effort in 2008. But they have proven to be more than just a flash in the pan, releasing another successful album in 2011, and sharing the stage with numerous top acts, including Pelican. But with the new school, no wave, music coming to prominence, they can't be content to rest on past successes; it is time to move forward and craft the next in what might be a long and fruitful career. Their new EP, a two song offering titled "White Light" is the next logical step in a career that gets longer by the day.

Contrary to the instant gratification attitude we so often force into our music, the band takes their time warming up to the bulk of "White Light Sunshine," going a full two minutes before the first wave of crunching riffs breaks through the haze. That repeated riff, the one that forms the backbone of the entire track, may seem simplistic and safe; and perhaps it actually is. But the sheer density of it all, the weight with which in comes down on you, is enough to be a driving force. You won't find any sweeping melodies here, nor would you want to. The layers of amelodic vocals give way to coarse screams, a style that finds a symbiotic mesh with the instrumental itself. It's about as subtle as a cartoon anvil to the head, but it works. The second track, "The Bonemarrow Weight," is the same, but somehow different. It relies more heavily on a central melody, one that was all but absent before. The distortion levels are still through the roof, with each rumbling guitar and bass string vibrating the cones of your speaker of choice. But rather than a planned shift of vocal style, as before, you get a constant. The entire song is unapologetic in its directness, pushing the limits of how much bass heavy distortion any one listener can take, without ever crossing the threshold to careless.

Neoclassical talents be damned, not every album needs a stream of Wagner inspired symphonies or Van Halen-esque solos to make it deep or interesting. "White Light" is the perfect example of an album that is straightforward, somewhat predictable, and yet still compelling. The combination of chunky riffs and unlimited distortion can be a dangerous game, but when executed well, as it is here, it can be captivating. Your head starts to move in a slow nod, one that you might not have noticed, but you will have  a hard time stopping. It's an interesting dynamic between band and fan that can seldom be explained. And let's be honest; we don't need to know why our head is moving, or the scientific reasoning for why we allow it to happen. Just give us a deliberate beat, a set of driving riffs, and a scream that coats it like a thin layer of sludge, and let our bodies react as they may. In the future, some time down the musical timeline, every band might need a flurry of solos to be considered good or new. But here, in 2013, The Death Of Her Money don't need bells and whistles to get our respect.


Bandcamp - https://thedeathofhermoney.bandcamp.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Death-Of-Her-Money/163632863667642

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