Monday 28 August 2023

THE W LIKES ~ II .... review


Out of Norway with their second full length album come The W Likes, a trio from Hamar consisting of Willy (guitar/vocals); Balbosj (bass) and Kurti (drums). The album, conveniently entitled "II" (Ramah Records/Evil Noise Recordings)), continues in much the same vein as its self titled predecessor "The W Likes", in that it is a fuzzilicious blend of atmospheric stoner rock and raucous proto-metal fronted by vocals that are soulful in their lower register and Cornell-esque at the top end of their range. We think you are going to like this.

Things kick off nicely with opening track "I Called It Home" a song that lyrically tells a story of breaking ties and finding new beginnings against a background of groove that routinely shifts between restrained haziness and crunching heaviness and boasts a vocal that seamlessly moves from a croon to a rock god howl. There is something Nirvana-esque about next track "Forgotten" so much so that Desert Psychlist found ourselves trying hard NOT to sing the lyrics to "Something In The Way" over its moody musical backdrop, that aside this is a superbly constructed tome that boasts some truly impressive explosive moments. Things get a little more gnarly and in your face with "Demon Priest" a nicely put together proto-metallic opus that is heavily drenched in fuzz and distortion and is firmly anchored to the ground with thrumming low bass and solid tight drumming. A screaming seagull mimicking effect introduces final track "Doctrine" followed by a heavily distorted bass and guitar refrain tinted with an element of eastern promise, the clever use of shimmering cymbals and tribalistic drumming giving the proceedings an otherworldly vibe. Vocals do not make their presence felt until around the seventh minute, initially following a similar hazy exotic path but moving up to a more westernized rock roar as the songs verse progresses. At just under eighteen and a half minutes you might expect "Doctrine" to maybe meander just a little or lose its focus but it doesn't, in fact it stays on track for its duration and just seems to get more majestic as it goes along.

The W Likes' "II"  is an enthralling blend of grunge tinted languidity and crunching stoner heaviness, an immersive and warm album that can at any given moment spontaneously combust and proceed to melt your face off. 2023 has already given us some great albums and "II" is another one to add to the list 
Check it out ....

© 2023 Frazer Jones

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