Distressor
Momentary


3.5
great

Review

by SandwichBubble USER (83 Reviews)
February 19th, 2023 | 15 replies


Release Date: 02/17/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cali shoegazers offer a charming (if not comfortable) debut that is sure to please their pending, soon-to-be fans.

The artwork a band decides to pair with their albums can tell you a lot about their headspace during its production and its concept. In the three years between their debut EP and their newest release, Californian shoegaze act Distressor seems to have sunk even deeper into the misty shadows then they already were. That first EP (2019's Away) was a tidy, energetic, densely-packed set of tunes that played with 3rd/4th/5th/6th/whatever-wave shoegaze as good as any band in their weight class. But on Momentary, their sound has decelerated further, becoming a much more deliberate, intimate experience in the process. The slow build-up on the album's bookends ("Dearly" and "Wind") offer a tasteful atmosphere to envelop the listener before blasting them with noise, in a way that, amazingly, doesn't feel forced or passé. I have been known to get a little restless whenever bands pull out this sort of thing, but here, the melodies and stellar musicianship carry the song so well, I barely noticed the time drifting by me.

I say all of that, but I know myself too well. Of course I would have preferred the "noise-poppier" approach of their early work. I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to the dreamier side of this genre, I know. But there is genuinely a lot to like on Momentary. Album highlights like "Farewell" and "Keepsake" make up for their slower pace with wonderful guitarwork and some quality vocals. And the drumming is exactly what you would want from an album like this: pounding, powerful beats that simultaneously take center stage while also being a proper fixture of each song's darkened landscape. I feel that the album could have used a little more variety in its structure. This isn't an issue that I strictly have with Distressor though; a lot of shoegaze bands fall into this trap of songs sounding a little too similar across a tracklist. Even one or two stronger songs would've made this a genuine contender for this year's best, at least for me.

As it is though, Distressor's debut record has a restraint that should be admired. Like I said, the style their going for here isn't one that I usually find myself enjoying. So the fact that I felt compelled to relisten to this immediately after I finished it is high praise for someone like me. If their goal was to make hazy, melodic shoegaze that has an opaque veneer just slightly obscuring it, one foot firmly planted in the dark while still just visible enough to be within reach, then mission accomplished. I genuinely hope they find their audience, patiently waiting in the fog.



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user ratings (17)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
SandwichBubble
February 19th 2023


13796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Stream: https://distressorca.bandcamp.com/album/momentary



Shorter review for a cool thing I found on Bandcamp.

kevbogz
February 19th 2023


6122 Comments


shoegaze band named after an album by one of the greatest shoegaze bands certainly can't disappoint

SandwichBubble
February 19th 2023


13796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I wasn't going to mention it in the review, but yeah. Clearly Whirr-inspired, at least.

I've never actually listened to that EP, I should get on that.

pizzamachine
February 19th 2023


27334 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Checked a few tracks. Gives me Astronoid and Fleshwater vibes

SandwichBubble
February 19th 2023


13796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll be blissfully ignorant and assume those bands are good.

All these direct comparisons were what I was trying to avoid in my review, but perhaps it was inevitable.

SandwichBubble
February 19th 2023


13796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Another hot meal ticket. This baby's gonna do numbers, let me tell ya.

Honestly would be happy with a single other rating.

And listen to the EP, it's really good.

pizzamachine
February 19th 2023


27334 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Consider them recs? There’s your rating haha. I’ll check the EP fo sho

SandwichBubble
February 19th 2023


13796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you, I can die now.



Also, I'm stupid. I have heard of Astronoid, but only their first album. I'll check them again, as well as fleshwater. Thank you.

pizzamachine
February 19th 2023


27334 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Np but don’t die lol

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2023


5503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is hot

SandwichBubble
February 19th 2023


13796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh yeah?

Also 3 ratings. My cup runeth over.



Hate that this is incorrectly titled on RYM right now.

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2023


5503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah this is probably what an ai would spit out when asked to make an album i would really like lmao

also sandwichboi i think you might dig the daydream twins record from last year!

SandwichBubble
February 19th 2023


13796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Glad you're digging it!



I've been getting recs left and right today. Tonight's playlist is gonna be packed. Thanks, I'll check that out for sure.

Purpl3Spartan
February 20th 2023


8692 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice album

SandwichBubble
February 20th 2023


13796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It is! Maybe not the most original thing out there, but it does it's thing well.



I'll stop bumping after every comment now, promise.



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