Women - Public Strain
Women are men, at least in this band. Women, here, are a quartet from Calgary that make a glorious noise. Their sophomore effort, "Public Strain," is a beast of melodic abrasive caterwaul.
The dual guitar attack of Patrick Flegel and Chris Reimer is metallic and ringing, industrial and jangly, waxing your senses quite nicely, especially on "Eyesore" and "China Steps" and "Narrow With the Hall," the latter adding a bit of 60s punk rhythm. More abstract, "Can't You See" and "Bells" recall the likes of the poetic sonic lines of early Husker Du or Australian legends Feedtime. These tracks are all somewhere in between the extremes of noisy ("Untogether") and the almost poppy ("Locust Valley"). Swirling within all eleven tracks are unhinged frenzy, delicate melody, and hypnotic drone. "Can't You See" uses cello and down-tuned guitars to create a haunting dirge. It seems the band as a fistful of emotional darts to throw, and accurately.
Women are a force of nature. "Public Strain" is a must have for those interested in the continuing power of psych and noise-rock. Women could be the best pop-shoegaze band in the world, or the most dangerous to approach noise band. At this stage, already, the world is theirs.
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