Big Wow

Artist
Release Date
Writer
Score
8.00
The gist Long awaiting second album from Warm Brains is well worth the wait The music It's been four long years since Warm Brains last made a record. That's not strictly true, because the man behind the moniker, Rory Attwell, is also quite a prolific producer and has been behind some of our favourite releases from those intervening years. Yes, Attwell has been the man behind the glass on various albums and singles from Veronica Falls, Let's Wrestle, Evans The Death, Paws, Mazes and Yuck to name just a handful. And it's fair to say that if you liked any of those bands then there'll be something for you here on Big Wow. Attwell played and recorded everything by himself (even supplying his own artwork) but there are a few guest cameos, Katherine Whitaker from Evans The Death being the stand-out contributor with her show stopping turn on "Now That I'm Boring". Lets start from the beginning though because Big Wow actually starts as it means to go on with an unassuming guitar riff, followed by a blast of bass, drums and feedback. The self-confessed (and self-depreciating) title is actually quite fitting because Big Wow isn't the sort of record that's gonna blow you away from the very first note. It's a slow burner, the sort of album that, on first listen, will be finished before you know it, only making a glancing impression on your life. Sub consciously though, these tracks will be ingrained on your psyche, and by the time "(We Always Quake At Plans Of Nigel)" plays out for the seventh or eight time you'll be thoroughly enamored with Warm Brains' familiar, yet strangely unique sound. For the most part its wonky indie with classic pop melodies and hooks aplenty. Along with hints of those great bands that Attwell has produced recently, there's also elements of early Blur ("Happy Accidents") and Elastica ("Now That I'm Boring") amongst others. Attwell is undoubtedly the star of the show though, and the glue that's keeping all of the pieces together. He's got a deadpan, but thoroughly engaging and likeable delivery, and a way of building up dark and light atmospheres with minimal fuss and fairly minimal instrumentation. Big Wow is a clear indication that Warm Brains has been sitting behind the controls for too long, maybe it's time to take center stage again? Listen to "Pink Blackpool Rock" - one of the more complex arrangements on Big Wow, this track mixes up dirty garage rock, psychadelica and has a winning slacker/stoner outro. Probably not the most instantly accessible song on the record, but one of the best nonetheless. "Now That I'm Boring" - I've already mentioned this a couple of times in the review but I think it's worth drilling home that this is one of the year's best tracks. Tonnes of 90s nostalgia are poured into the delicious mix, but it's the wonderfully melodic songwriting that counts here. A darkly comic duet in the vein of Lush and Jarvis Cocker's "Ciao", it's all over in less than 3 minutes, more's the pity.

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Warm Brains