When The Word Was Sound- Wormhole To Wonder (2010)

Posted: March 21, 2011 by Is This Revolutionary? in Album, Reviews
Tags: , ,

The name actually says it all. Funny, many post-rock bands have these cryptic or witty names (This Will Destroy You or Suffocate For Fuck Sake come to mind), but this is probably the most appropriately named band that exists.

I’m never the most technical person when it comes to music. I admit that. You’ll never read me stating something to the tune of, “Yeah, I didn’t like the fact that they switched from 4/4 time to 3/8 time” or “They definitely should have played that in G-Major instead of D-Major”. I’m not that kind of guy. I feed off of the emotion that bands put out there, which is a blessing and a curse. More technical bands, such as Gifts From Enola, get severely understated. When The Word Was Sound, however, gets pretty decently described.

The entire album gives off this extremely space-y feel. The audio samples in the intro and outro echo out of earshot, and kind of remind me of the ones from “Hey Sandy” by Polaris (it may be a stretch). This album, interestingly enough, never actually has a main guitar part; there is no melody, no catchy, main part of the song to take you through. Now, that may ward off a few listeners, but that’s not what this band is here for. They are quite possibly the kings (or queens, of one feels so inclined) of atmosphere. Everything is done to give the listener the experience of streaming through space. Not on a whim, but on a mission. You never feel alone during this album; it doesn’t give off a God Is An Astronaut kind of vibe. Actually, quite the opposite.

There is, in the background, a steady, almost never changing, drum line to guide you through the songs. In front of it is this completely engulfing wall of sound on an instrument I can only assume with my limited musical knowledge to be guitar. It pulsates, cyclically, almost like an echo itself. Little blips of actually recognizable guitar are featured more prevalent in the song “Enoch’s Ascent”, even to a more agreeable string of notes, but most of it is just atmospheric drone and a drum line if you ever feel like you start floating away. “Growth In Space” was really, really chime heavy. Not that I minded, not one bit, but in the whole of the album, I feel like it’s really only featured here. I’d love for it to be everywhere.

Also really interesting, much of this music, especially in “Third Pyramid”, feels like it’s being played backwards. Now, that may not sound as interesting in theory as it is in practice, but it really gives off that other-worldly feel.

Rating: Okay, I’m not going to lie: I’d never actually listen to this on a weekly basis. It would come up more on an occasion where I’d just get on my roof and just space out looking at the stars. For an ambient album, I was kind of disappointed at the length of it. There were only 3 real songs to listen to, but the other 3 played an important part in setting the mood of the album. If I were to try to describe this to anyone who has some sort of musical knowledge, I’d try to pass it off as the closest post-rock will ever get to drone. They are essentially the Earth of post-rock (minus the Kurt Cobain connection). I would, however, go to see them live. This has to be one hell of a show to put on, and with the right lighting and maybe some smoke machines, you can drift away into some sort of trance. Overall, I didn’t mind this album in the least. I only just dip my toe into the drone swimming pool (sometimes, I just can’t get into it), but musically, just the concept of this album alone saves it for me. 3.5/5 kegs.

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B.

Author’s Note: I didn’t realize how much I wrote when I wrote it. I commend anyone who didn’t just skip down to the bottom. I’m also really thankful that this band came at just the right moment: when I felt I was writing really poor reviews because I wasn’t connecting enough with the music. It’s nice to hear a pure emotional album.

Comments
  1. Great album. Love Brandon and Amanda. A really great thing about these guys is that they improvise every show they play. It’s really a beautiful thing to experience, even more than once.

  2. That’s absolutely embarrassing. Thank you for pointing that out. Mistake fixed. -B.

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