Monday, November 8, 2010
[pitchfork.com] Even before the headline-grabbing onstage scuffle that marked an abrupt end to their recent North American tour, Women have always been a band that has thrived on tension. Public Strain, their recently released second LP, bottles up 42 minutes of constriction using the standard template of guitar, bass, and drums, sometimes without so much as a dab of release. The album's "Narrow With the Hall" is an excellent example of how they work. It starts out innocently enough, with buzzing, droning guitar making way for chiming chords and frontman Patrick Flegel's half-diffident vocals. In fact, the song begins almost too innocently, evoking a jangly garage feel played far straighter than you would expect from the Calgary band. Throughout the course of the song, however, instruments and sounds are added to increase pressure until the tune feels like it's throbbing along with Matthew Flegel's resilient bassline. Before long, everything in sight is suddenly covered by a blizzard of violent noise, which gives a incendiary sense of catharsis even as the rest of the band plays as though they don't even notice. The clouds slowly part after the blistering eight-bar stretch, the song wrapping itself up into a neat little bow so soon after the chaos that you're barely given enough time to regroup before it ends.
In its short running time, "Narrow With the Hall" finds a way to make every instrument and sound essential, coalescing so perfectly that it's hard to imagine the song without any of the elements currently present. It's one of the few moments on Public Strain that releases the tension the band is so good at building up, an explosion that arguably provides the album's best moment.
Download the MP3 HERE: Women: "Narrow with the Hall"
[from Public Strain; out now via Jagjaguwar]
Posted by Dan Goldin at 7:44 PM