After releasing two EPs and their debut full length on labels such as Marathon Artists and Too Far Gone, their follow up LP shows the five piece, led by songwriters Ben Guterl and Ava Trilling, join the Sub Pop roster. Emotive and life loving indie rock that bursts with joy whilst nursing it’s wounds.
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Strong indeed. Forth Wanderers write their music as piecemal parts and then put it all together, but you wouldn’t know listening to this record: it doesn’t feel built from itself but rather symbiotic, as if everything were happening at the same time with nothing more than a knowing nod as direction. This is the band’s second to date, and their first up for Sub Pop, but it swims by with the kind of seamless energy a band rediscovers on their tenth record. Barebones but bracing, they make fuzz pop that’s sharp and direct and harder than it sounds.
There’s lotsa space and lots of time to play with, so it goes in: “Ages Ago” keeps those riffs circling for a while at the end of all things, vocalist Ava Trilling doing her bit but letting other hooks get their run out. “Taste” reminds me of when Superchunk slowed it all down for the first time on ‘Foolish’ opener “Like a Fool”, its half-ominous acoustic guitar crawling around for clarity, finding it in fuzzy chords and a driving bassline. The country twang ‘n’ strums of the extremely appropriately named “Be My Baby” see them use their noisier antics as a background tool, offering sublime textures to a record that’s largely been a good half-pace punk record. Versatile as hell, they do this to us six songs in and get me doing deep sad sighs.
Primarily though, this is a good guitar rock band delivering mobile jams with subtle hooks. What more could a person possibly want, you ask quite rhetorically, and I see your point, so I guess I’ll just listen to this on repeat for the rest of the day, and have a little feelings-fest 'round the corner of the office.
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