True Widow

True Widow (End Sounds)

Heavy, slow, dark. Repeat. That's the formula True Widow sticks to like tar for the entirety of its eponymous debut CD. The 10-track slab of growling guitars and plodding drums stretches on for an hour, but the songs run together so soon that the band could have repeated the first five tracks and you'd hardly notice the difference. The band name Slowride, True Widow singer D.H. Phillips' older and relatively upbeat punk-rock project, takes on a whole new layer of irony compared with its kid sister band.

Opener "AKA" sets the tone with a slowly unwinding guitar part and vaguely depressing lyrics ("Your cantilevered heart could stop the oncoming plot/And my will stands still as the daunting art/Tries to make its start"). It's followed by "Duelist," which picks up the pace a bit and features delicate vocals from bassist Nicole Estill. After that, it's back to grinding, monotonous sludge, the aural equivalent of Ny-Quil.

In other words: It can work wonders in small doses, but you'll need a pick-me-up if you plan to operate heavy machinery. Listening to the album all the way through would be like chugging the whole bottle. There's no doubt, though, that it maintains a consistent mood—if "glassy-eyed and listless" can be considered a mood.

 
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