Friday, November 2, 2012

Album Review: "Wyatt" by T0W3RS

T0W3RS plays at Kings Barcade on Saturday
November 3 for DiggUp Tapes Monthly Show Series
with Alpha Cop and Zack Mexico
T0W3RS have been swiftly building momentum throughout the past year, through dazzling sets around the state and a massive full-length that was released back in April, If All We Have Is Time the band has been building a heavily devoted fan base.  Until now the band's output was primarily from the groups brainchild, Derek Torres, but with their latest EP the group has approached writing with a bit more collaborative of an effort.  Wyatt was initially released at Hopscotch through a scavenger hunt for the 5 cassingles that were hidden throughout downtown Raleigh, but last week the band celebrated the official release of their latest EP.  Wyatt is a perfect representation of the gradual growth and exploration that the band is doing, they're still drawing heavily upon their influences but are equally stepping out of their comfort zone to define a niche of their own.

Wyatt begins with "Mobius Strip", a track that kicks off with a fuzzed out guitar and Torres clever wordplay giving us just enough personal insight to be able to feel like we're truly looking into the songwriters life while remaining instantly relatable.  "So I know what I say/That doesn't mean that I like what I say", Torres keeps his vocals relaxed but with enough of a bounce to perfectly counteract the continuous chugging of the distorted guitar for the verses.  "Mobius Strip" boasts an anthemic chorus, one of many that can be found throughout this EP which will surely make for some fantastic live moments.  It's clear that Jacki Huntington's influence made a difference in this EP, high pitched whirs and harmonies give the album far more depth than If All We Have Is Time, the band is beginning to stray from the path with wonderful results.

Tracks like "Draw?Fold" feature a three minute intro filled with deep layers and building tension before blossoming into a southern tinged powerhouse with a guitar line that feels like it could be straight from a Western flick.  "Hold me down or let me go/But you could stop the trembling arms", Torres' vocals cut through the dense instrumentation like a knife.  His lyricism continues to improve with each release, anxieties and self consciousness are littered throughout the album and make for a listening experience that feels personalized yet tailored for everyone.  It's clear though that the music isn't made for interpretation though, these are the types of lyrics that artists write because they're compelled to do so, but that's ultimately the kind that ends up being the most relatable.

A wonderfully paced EP, "Ours" follows the six-minute epic of "Draw?Fold" and feels like it's fitted perfectly for a live show.  The call and response vocals between Torres and Huntington prove the growth within this band, there's moments on Wyatt where you can really feel the bands expansion and it's joyous to watch bands like this grow with each release.  The collaborative efforts within this EP have clearly stretched the musical horizons of these musicians and one can't help but feel anxious in anticipation for another release from the band to see which of these nuances are followed and which ones are left behind.  While tracks like "Ours" are filled with poppy synths, the EPs closer "Scandles" feels far different, closer to the sound displayed on their debut full length.  The track opens with a jaunting guitar line, quickly followed with a constant drum beat that slowly turns into another infectious  track.  T0W3RS continue to outdo themselves, and as they begin to stray away from their original sound one can only wonder which direction the band will take from here.  As the band's soundscape expands one thing remains constant, the unmitigated determination from Torres and company to become one of the premier acts of the Triangle, and quite frankly I don't think it'll be too long before that happens.

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