You know those hotshots who say things like “I don’t get out of bed for less than 10 grand”? Well,Warm Widow sound like they’d kick the door down to their own Manchester bedsit for a bag of Quavers. They’re hungry and visceral, fully determined to commit any injustice to have befallen them to static-filled tape NOW. That much was clear on their smash-and-grab debutWidower and now they’re back for round two withChildless, an album which, amongst other things, again has incredible artwork – kudos to those involved.
Back on track, be that title a continuation on the theme of loss, a slight at societal normalcy or a further reduction of Hemingway’s famously poignant For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn., it serves only to shelter eight statements in fuzz minutely better recorded than on Widower, which to be fair was only a demo that the White Box label released in its raw state. All the same (fear not fidelity freaks), and as “They Have No Minds” proves, it all still sounds precisely like it was recorded in a drafty mill – not that you’ll notice as listening to the track’s riff-loop is akin to putting your face into a power-sander.
Childless is not all muscle though. The title track strips the trio back to shadowy post-punk basics whilst duelling Wire-esque guitars off against their own echoes. “Dog Heaven” too is short, sharp and smart. Pedalling a very Guided By Voices line of ramshackle indie, its crusty melodies are duly given the acid-bath treatment, just as “Insertion” dials back the fury in favour of dreamy guitars only to then give the master an iron-wool scrub that hisses throughout.
Just as your guard is let down though, in ram-raids confrontational passages that hit like The Pixies having gotten out of bed on the wrong side or with sheerSonic Youth-like guitar-on-noise abandon. And, in the closer, Lianne Steinberg’s rickety drums are brought to the fore, passing like some slow train over a wooden bridge, adding something to cling on to in the face of a full noise-punk blowout.
Do you part. Grab a copy of Childless and help keep Warm Widow in the snacks they deserve.
Best tracks: “Dog Heaven” and “Childless”
~Childless is out now on Filthy Home Recordings.~
This is fluttering about the streets of Manchester right now, featuring a spot-on review of Childless - ‘…desert tidal wave of comeuppance’ indeed!
Warm Widow review.
Childless proudly occupies a slot in Normans’ top 50 releases of the year so far.
Warm Widow hanging in there…