Originally from the Uk, James Welburn and drumming companion Tony Buck (The Necks) relocated to Berlin and Lillehammer. Following a plethora of shows all over the underground noise circuits of Norway and Berlin. Their debut album ‘Hold’ captures the endlessly repetitive, drown out droney, shoegazer atmosphere of their live sets.
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- Hold by James Welburn
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 28 May 2015
James Welburn and his drumming accomplice Tony Buck (from The Necks) are in search of the perfect drone. On opener ‘Naught’ Buck creates a thumping staccato pattern while Welburn’s drone increases in intensity as the track progresses. The music references black metal and shoegaze in equal proportions and will appeal greatly to fans of OM and Swans. On ‘Shift’ they step up a gear, the drums propulse as if the drummer has been asked to play grindcore whilst a two note wall of fuzz undulates on top. The album has a live improvised feel and an almost hollow production as if they are playing in a massive black empty room.
Welburn appears to play a myriad of synths and guitars to create his monolithic slabs of noise and occasionally as on ‘Duration’ the effect is intoxicating. It leads me to wonder why so many modern day shoegaze bands don’t make this kind of racket. Imagining this level of intensity matched with pop tunes and vocals is an exciting thought but this purely instrumental noise is deep dark and intense.
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