Elizabeth Colour Wheel
Nocebo


4.5
superb

Review

by Dewinged CONTRIBUTOR (58 Reviews)
March 19th, 2019 | 49 replies


Release Date: 03/15/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Truth bleeds.

When Lane Shi collapses on stage, she takes the whole audience with her. The emotional load that the voice of Elizabeth Colour Wheel burdens night after night is not meant for the occasional customer. It is a taxing experience for everyone involved, mostly for their souls. But the truth is that, once you have come through their explosive set, once you have been exposed to the uncalled bursts of fury and the droning dementia, you realize the precious gift you have been given: a gift of honesty. A currency that nowadays is as frequent as a herd of unicorns galloping a rainbow.

ECW is a band that can go from Bent Knee to Oathbreaker in a matter of ten seconds, exhausting their fire to the point of becoming a deranged mirror of Slint's Spiderland at will. It's just one of the many deceiving tricks used to build momentum before the next charge against your emotional barrier. Shi's voice is the agonizing rambling of a hypothetical retired cabaret singer having a nostalgic meltdown in the darkest corner of a jazz club. Just when you think alcohol has drained her last drop of willpower, she will crush her glass with her fingers pointing at you with a bleeding hand while she becomes a vengeful banshee. The band scores her mood swings with telepathic accuracy, emphasizing the drone and the doom in pieces like the final minutes of opener "Pink Palm".

For Nocebo, ECW have cut a slice or two of the unforgiving noise that reigned on their previous EP, Queen Tired, a collection of four tracks that lured San Francisco's dark music curators The Flenser (Have a Nice Life, Street Sects), and convinced them to sign them up for a full-length release. Seth Manchester, who had previously worked with The Body to conceive the magnificent I tried to fight it but I can't any longer last year, has done an excellent job in capturing the band's incendiary performance. The production is devoid of anything that doesn't happen on stage, which results in a final product hardly contained in its vessel, due to as much rage as fidelity to what the band is about.

Elizabeth Colour Wheel is a project difficult to categorize. They are certainly comfortable with noise and distortion filling the room and bringing everyone to the brink of madness, but they also delight themselves in long unwinding passages of clean guitars and encumbered drumming ala Neurosis. Songs like "Hide Behind (Emmett's Song)" speak in shoegaze tongues and punk rock beats, while grunge homages like "23" explode in post rock ecstasies mid-track. "Life of a Flower" is some sort of doom meets punk (or vice versa) and "34" erupts a blast beat from the get go that makes Shi go fully mental, ending the track with unforeseen violence. Two interludes, "Somnambulist" and "Bedrest" serve as seldom breathers, the first one sounds as if Grouper was trying to communicate through the static like a poltergeist, and the latter is a healing lullaby of broken amp tubes looping an alluring guitar melody.

Nocebo is like a haunted house, where every room tells a different story but none of them meets a predictable ending. On the contrary, it's an extremely volatile album that demands focus and sharp senses to be traversed. It's also a thrilling experience that feeds on the impromptu temperament of ECW's music, a display of human sensibilities that don't need theatrics to convey its message. Their energy as a band already bleeds through the speakers with unruly intensity and, sometimes, this is more than enough to leave a mark on those willing to listen.



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user ratings (52)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2019


16799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This thing here goes straight into my top 5 of the year so far.



Jam: https://elizabethcolourwheel.bandcamp.com/





Edit: And also 50th review, yay!



Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2019


16799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Always thankful for your valuable insight and unflinching support sach.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2019


16799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's a lotta mumbo jumbo so no worries, I wouldn't read it either.



Thanks for the mind pos!

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2019


10120 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well this was indeed quite written, I love the various descriptors you employ throughout this. I'm really interested to hear how exactly this plays out, but yeah, nice writing as per the norm from you

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2019


16799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks a bunch Marsbro. I don't think these guys will get much action here but hopefully this gives them a small push.

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2019


8119 Comments


Damn this sounds awesome

Digging: Cursive - Get Fixed

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2019


16799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It is quite the ride Fred, give it a shot

Divaman
March 19th 2019


4290 Comments


Might give it a shot. Good review, my friend.

Digging: Melanie Martinez - K-12

RunOfTheMill
March 19th 2019


4034 Comments


Always a great read from you Dewi. I'm not a big fan of a lot of noise music, would I enjoy this if I sat down to listen to it ya think?

Lord(e)Po)))ts
March 19th 2019


46019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Intrigued

Digging: ((( O ))) - ((( 1 )))

sixdegrees
March 19th 2019


6962 Comments


for a band named after a lilys song I thought i'd like these guys more

Digging: Gary Glitter - I've Got Sweets

Custy666
March 19th 2019


2 Comments


Keen to check this out! Excellent Review

Custy666
March 19th 2019


2 Comments


Keen to check this out! Excellent Review

Keyblade
March 19th 2019


28080 Comments


a band named after a Lilys song, sweet

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2019


8119 Comments


Seemed all sound and fury signifying nothing on my first listen but I'm definitely gonna give it more listens, very busy album

teamster
March 19th 2019


4405 Comments


Oh shit. Will check. Excellent review and thanks.

Digging: Klone - Le Grand Voyage

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 20th 2019


10120 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Vocals didn't help this out too much in all honesty, and this drug on at times. Definitely a fair amount of good stuff but not enough for me to come back to it probably.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 20th 2019


16799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"for a band named after a lilys song I thought i'd like these guys more "



I think they were more shoegaze when they started but the power of doom got to them at some point.



And that's alright Mars! I already knew going in and seeing the ratings that this was not gonna be everybody's cup of tea.

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
March 20th 2019


16591 Comments


Nice review dude, certainly captured a spirit. This seems like a handful but certainly something I could get into - so far it's hitting me like a grungier version of Mass of the Fermenting Dregs

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 20th 2019


16799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Johnny. Yeah they have a strong 90s grunge component in between all the drone and the more aggressive parts that i think it works really well.



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