Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Best of 2010: #9 Women - Public Strain

In an age of atmospheric rock bands who forgo the rock part, and regular rock bands who can’t create a mystique for the life of them, Women have stood apart. This is mostly because so much of their music is built on the a back and fourth conversation between a tight as hell pop rock rhythm section and a pair of divergent adventurous guitar players. (I wonder if their dust up this past fall was along those battle lines, for the sake of the story it should be.)

On Public Strain, Women have made a record that is leaps and bounds above what was already a preternaturally unique and assured debut. Through out the record the a wash of fuzz that would feel right at home on a Fennesz record(or might even pass off as a record of it’s own) is cut through with tightly wound pop songs. “Narrow the Hall” is a furiously dark post punk. “Untogether” anchored by one of the most infectious bass lines of the year. “Bells” swelling and slight, allowing for a breath in a surprisingly chaotically paced album. Album closer “Eyesore” is a ghostly dark rock epic. With the right promotional push it could be the black light enthusiast’s song of the year.

Through out the album Women sound like a machine verging on near collapse as it pushes it's self into it’s last possible gear. Guitars sound like the strings are going to all snap apart at once, the drums heads are all going to cave in and all you’ll be left with is a bass thumping forward until it realizes it’s been abandoned. This never actually happens on this album but you get the sense, if they went one track further it would have.


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