White Suns
Waking in the Reservoir


3.5
great

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
October 26th, 2011 | 16 replies | 7,014 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Brooklyn-based White Suns realise much of the potential their earlier relases hinted at by pushing their sound further in all directions

"I don't identify with the shut-your-eyes-and-pretend-nothing-is-happening mindset, like the chillwave bullshit going on right now. We live in NYC, where there's homeless, people facing tough times making ends meet, and the economy is shitty. For someone to sit in their room and make bedroom pop music that isn't about anything outside of some girl who doesn't like them, I think that's irresponsible when you have a large audience."

- Kevin Barry of White Suns

With Waking in the Reservoir, their first full-length, Brooklyn-based White Suns realise much of the potential their earlier relases hinted at by pushing their sound further in all directions. The result is probably the most urgent straight noise record released in years. White Suns' earlier releases seemed to draw influence from everything from pure noise to free jazz; everything from 20th century classical to hardcore punk. Their sound was an unrelentingly filthy one, one that managed to find a midpoint between the physical assault of hardcore and the completely fucking disgusting chaos of noise groups like Wolf Eyes without compromising the base impulses of either. This, no doubt, is what earned the three-piece comparisons to bands like Pissed Jeans and Drunkdriver, but even the most superficial spin of Waking in the Reservoir reveals the group's ambitions to be far different to those two bands.

Waking in the Reservoir is a busy and angry record, and leading the charge is guitarist and vocalist Kevin Barry. Barry's voice is almost as vitriolic as his lyrics, which are probably the most brutish and rudimentary element of the group's sound. Probably the most impressive member of the group, however, is drummer Dana Matthiessen, whose work is powerful and technically adept (see the repetitive onslaught of "First Purge" or the opening fills of "Voyeur"). Each member of White Suns has at least two roles in the group, which contributes to the busy and urgent feel of the record, but it's also the restraint and sense of space that makes this such a successful album. The tension created in songs like "Skin Deep" when the noise cuts out to leave the drums to perform simple fills in between bars of rest is almost unbearable, and it's hard to imagine anything more eerie than the record's title track, which fades noise, feedback and pick scrapes in and out between irregular tom hits. Closer examination of the record also reveals an abundance of compositional skill (no doubt the reason the group have performed in art galleries and with Brooklyn avant-garde groups like Zs and Extra Life) - like the almost catchy grove of "Harvest", the messy outro of "Bedsores" that recalls early Sonic Youth, or the mind-bending guitar riff midway through "Skin Deep" that sounds like it belongs in a Dillinger Escape Plan song.

For a 30-minute noise record, Waking in the Reservoir is remarkably free of bullshit. As with the group's generally angry disposition, nothing feels gratuitous, nothing redundant. White Suns are a group who refuse to ignore what's going on around them and choose to be angry about things that matter, and therefore are anything but nihilistic or pointless, which is one of the greatest and most common failings of this genre. For my part, this is the best noise record I've heard in years, from a band who I've come to expect nothing less from.



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user ratings (17)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
GodL1ke
October 26th 2011



804 Comments


nice review, very intrigued to check this out now

br3ad_man
Emeritus
October 26th 2011



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Quote at the beginning comes from this article: http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-01-26/music/the-noisecore-warmth-of-white-suns/

Spare
October 26th 2011



5251 Comments


sounds awes, quality review

Digging: Radiator Hospital - Torch Song

kitsch
October 26th 2011



5107 Comments


since its coming from you, ill give it a shot

quote at the beginning is douchey though

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 26th 2011



15727 Comments


could you upload this for me bb?

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

lancebramsay
October 27th 2011



1585 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

going out on a limb for this one, definitely doesn't sound like something I would enjoy though.

lancebramsay
October 27th 2011



1585 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

The best way to summarize this album: it sounds like the end of an epic song that caused all the
equipment to explode, and the sound lasts for 30 minutes. Literally the majority of the sound produced
on this album is incomprehensible screaming, mad drumming, and an overly excessive amount of feedback.
I like noise rock but this just plain ugly noise. Bedsores is the only semi-listenable track.

Tyrannic
October 27th 2011



3261 Comments


Why do three of the featured reviews have the word potential in the summary? Did I miss a joke?

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 27th 2011



15727 Comments


bet this doesnt suck, gonna listen soon

natey
October 27th 2011



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the title track is badass

br3ad_man
Emeritus
October 27th 2011



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The best way to summarize this album: it sounds like the end of an epic song that caused all the equipment to explode, and the sound lasts for 30 minutes. Literally the majority of the sound producedon this album is incomprehensible screaming, mad drumming, and an overly excessive amount of feedback. I like noise rock but this just plain ugly noise. Bedsores is the only semi-listenable track.


There's really a lot more to it than that. There's a lot going on once you get a feel for the structures and used to the harshness of it. I totally understand it's not an album for everyone though.

People who are interested should check out this as well: http://ampeatermusic.com/aem057. Two more great tracks for free!

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 27th 2011



30873 Comments


Thought staff could swear?

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

lancebramsay
October 27th 2011



1585 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

There's really a lot more to it than that. There's a lot going on once you get a feel for the
structures and used to the harshness of it. I totally understand it's not an album for everyone
though.
I will give this album another chance but it really rubbed me the wrong way.
Rating this 1.5 proves your taste in music is horrible.
saying this proves that you are
a sweaty shlong.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
October 28th 2011



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thought staff could swear?


Nope.

I will give this album another chance but it really rubbed me the wrong way.


I wasn't suggesting you should or anything, just wanting to note that it's far more than random noise. Definitely give it another go if you're interested though.

Kman418
December 16th 2013



9824 Comments


someone review sinews

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Kman418
December 16th 2013



9824 Comments


can we take a moment to appreciate that the last third of cenote is probably one of the most intense moments in music ever



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