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- Steel Wound by Ben Frost
9/10 Laurie Staff review, 07 October 2015
A new pressing of the 2012 reissue of the very first Ben Frost album, or ‘Frost’ as he was known then. It tracks his artistic outing pre-rasp, before the wolves snarled and the walls crumbled around him in a pile of rubbled amplifiers.
While the noise onslaughts are yet to overcome him, the iciness is very much present. It’s probably the album where his sound is closest to that of a certain Tim Hecker, who would go on to become a frequent collaborator. Frost even played on Virgins, would ya believe it. Yes. It also has that harrowing feel that would follow him through later releases, and probably will his whole life, a sort of yearning for something once lost or is impossible to find, such bleakness.
Instrumentally, Steel Wound makes fairly heavy use of smudged-out guitars, sometimes twinkling (‘...I Lay My Ear To Furious Latin’) and at others blowing like the wind (‘You, Me And The End Of Everything), but very rarely heard directly. Always through that snowy, Frosty lens. The same goes for the perhaps-strings-perhaps-guitar on the final track.
The whole album reminds me of the story of Oates wandering out of his Antarctican refuge to let deadly snow take him. Dark, but noble. A definitive piece of Frost.
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