Review Summary: At its most forceful, an EP which promises much.
UK outfit Wires have the sort of name that can get you lost way out in cyberspace, so it's a good job their trembling alt-rock announces itself more dramatically. Indeed, 3-track Shadows
is at its most invigorating when it finds the same melodic-chaotic balance as was nailed by Beggars
-era Thrice; in these moments, Wires home in on a momentum that is really quite special. True, "Whispers" relies too much on a mildly unnerving atmosphere which never really spills over into anything beyond intrigue; true, when Shadows
is quiet it's at least unassuming. But in the louder moments - which rely on the builds to pay off properly - it plays out with something of a swagger, an aggression which sounds both confident and considered.
is a reasonable touchstone, in fact, for Shadows
- the two records share their attachment to groove-tinged rhythms rather than a true loss of inhibition, but excel when they find their upper gears. Here, the focus shifts towards a soundscape which incorporates gang vocals rather than electronics, but the general aesthetic remains of minor chords and atmosphere, carried off by a sincere vocalist and in-tune musicians. Granted, there are gaps to fill in the lyrics, which lack edge, and the dynamism, which disappears at points, but on the whole, Shadows
bodes well for the potential of a band which walk the line between tranquil and frantic well.