There has been some very, very, VERY great noisy, creative guitar rock this year. From more traditional shoegaze craft from the likes of Whirr to more complex takes on the genre from the likes of Heaven’s Gate, these “shoegaze” bands has been pumping out sublime (and noisy) releases all year. And to round off the end of the year and trend, WL have released their ungodly excellent debut single.
The single is a simple two song affair, but the band nonetheless manages to manifest their sound and style perfectly across both sides. On the a-side “Impermanent” is a slice of pure, classic shoegaze: cascading, distorted guitar over slow motion drums and cymbals, with both picking up at exactly the right moments to propel the song forward. The song hits you like a constant barrage of waves, just crashing over you steadily, like a great Isn’t Anything era My Bloody Valentine. The vocalist for WL, Misty Mary, has an absolutely stunning voice, which sticks just the right balance between sultry and airy. It gives “Impermanent” an added dimension that doesn’t hit you at first, but would be lacking if it wasn’t there. “No Escape” ups the noise quota for the band, but toes WL more into dream pop as well. Whereas “Impermanent” was a stagnant barrage of pure shoegaze (in the best possible sense), “No Escape” uses momentary noisy breakdowns to punctuate its relative quietness. The track is built around Mary's breathy vocals (which are possibly nicer here than on “Impermanent”), and the simple chiming guitar lacking all its distortion but captivating still, along with the steady drum beat. Subtly, the song builds into these noisy blasts of off-kilter distortion and frantic drum crashing before returning to its shimmering, airy-pop core.
I cannot overstate how wonderful this single is. There is nothing like a band coming out of nowhere only to completely knock you over with their skill and songs, and WL have done just that. Their debut 7” is pure, unfiltered noise-pop heaven, drawing from all sides of the genre. It’s the type of thing shoegaze addicts like me are always craving, and this more than meets my cravings.
Buy the Impermanent 7" here, from Death Party Records