22 February 2014 (Self-Released)
By: Alexster Crowley DenBaars
Everything crumbles, and decays, and burns, and is lost. The opening track on Wood Spider’s new album, Decadence, shakes you and foments desolation through a sonic and psychic pummeling. It sounds like the end of the world, both in its structure and the quality of each of the sounds as they are represented on the track. The band Wood Spider is almost certainly not naïve enough to believe in an end though, and this apex destruction is just another piece in the machine of pushing and pulling they’ve constructed on Decadence. The album itself is quite decadent, moving between slow and lush tracks that ooze with creepy seduction, to blown-out fight-songs celebrating nothing more than the carnal pleasure of being alive. At other points the emotional pitch moves to lonely and quiet confessions of self-realized absurdity.
The most interesting choice as far as production is concerned is the deliberate inclusion of clipping. Several vocal and instrument tracks were seemingly captured beyond the sonic tolerance levels of the equipment used to record them or this effect was simulated after the fact. Either way, it is a brilliant choice as it drives home the vigor and massive force of the more brawl-oriented tracks.
The decadence of Decadence has one misstep on one of the sweeter sounding tracks built around the ukulele. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love ukulele. It’s my favorite instrument, but ‘Idealism’ makes me want to throw up given the pallet of the rest of the album. Perhaps this is intended. Maybe it’s just more decadence. Perhaps I’m even supposed to be disgusted by it. Intended or not ‘Idealism’ is the darkest track on the album and gives me the creeps like photos of serial killers in their youth smiling for the camera.
Almost every moment on the album is robust to outrageous levels. It’s so beautiful in places that it almost takes on grotesque characteristics. Your heart will hurt from the ceaseless emotional turmoil. Even the quiet moments don’t let up. The listener is constantly besieged by new emotions and new forms of presentation for those impassioned sentiments. It is the carnival hysteria, a burlesque of fever-pitched passion through sound.
If this album was a food, it would be crème brulee with blueberries served on top the collapse of western civilization.
Find their music here: http://woodspider.bandcamp.com/
Rating: Loved It