I’m always hesitant to type up a review after the release because once it’s out for mass consumption, what’dya need a reviewers opinion for? That said, it takes a special kind of album to compel us to write about it after the fact. VOWWS latest is that kind of an album.
VOWWS hit all of the right buttons for me but, despite having checked them out in the past, I never latched on. Their previous LP, The Great Sun, is great! It truly is but, when compared to the scope of Under the World, seems like this small piece of the puzzle. Like a single piece of a one thousand piece puzzle. Yeah, this one is that grand.
Under the World is this crazy amalgamation of styles which The Great Sun only hinted at. The dark brooding of She Wants Revenge merged with the dream-state that The Raveonettes created early on in their career intertwined with Wall Of Voodoo’s Synthetic Western world are all present throughout Under the World making the album utterly compelling and entirely unique as Matt and Rizz create this whole world of sound, a vast sonic landscape even, that transcends their goth/electro/darkwave contemporaries in every aspect.
Have you ever casually been listening to a record and a song comes on that makes you stop everything you’re doing because you’ve become so transfixed by the sounds emanating from your listening device? That’s “Wild Wind”. I was on my way to a metal show over the weekend and, knowing I had a long drive ahead, made it a point to hold off listening to Under the World until I could concentrate on it during the trek. Make no mistake, the album stands out from the onset of the dreamy “You Never Knew” with these start/stop sonics creating a conflicting sense of wonder and anxiety. The album as a whole continually hits new peaks but “Wild Wind” captures that Western Wall Of Voodoo (Call Of The West in particular) essence especially within its’ opening salvo. Then there’s the harmony that Rizz and Matt bring when their voices collide as his baritone synchs with her glistening alto amidst a shuffle and that perfect Electro-Western backdrop.
Elsewhere on the album, VOWWS continue to impress. Whether it’s the throbbing synthetics of “ESSEFF”, the unbridled yearning on “Burn” or the driving Gothic rawk of “Inside Out”, Under the World continually impresses with a sophomore album that slays all expectations and gets better with every listen.
Under the World is out now for that aforementioned mass consumption via Anti Language Records. You can get yours now by clicking here or here. VOWWS is also currently on tour, stopping at O’Brien’s on March 27th! Get your tickets for that show here or head here for all the rest of the current tour dates and more.