"With a metamodern approach to post-rock, Georgia's Willow bombard crunching, hurtling, and oft subdued, instrumental-metal nuanced riffage to almost iconoclastic proportions; tempered perhaps by a lack of direction, or innate focus, since mastered by its peers, the band's debut EP is, indeed, encouraging. Alleviating sustained torrents of ringing guitars, the dynamics that permeate the record work well in creating a balance between the visceral and the serene. In seamlessly creating this aura, Willow are able to control the pace and sentiment that they wish to convey. Not only does this maxim allow the music to flow perhaps more superfluously than it has a right to - more importantly, it allows the band to create a simulacrum -- an arbitrary palate where the soul of the record can be laid bare, granting them an absolute creative discipline to sculpt and emote at will. And it is, surely, this facet that differentiates the epic and tragic from colloquial hearsay.
Typifying the genre's inclination for quiet/loud pieces that build and detonate, (and, naturally, vice versa) the EP opens with the blistering "And Finally I Can Breathe". Employing digitally altered speech snippets, the song progresses into a cacophonous deluge of violent, scattershot guitars that wouldn't sound out of place on an emo(tional) record. The result is such that the proceeding segue, into the Mono-lite "When The Sea Called Our Names", is almost too cautious; the resulting edifice is, ultimately, a disappointment, taking far too long to establish any type of presence or purpose. With "I Have Seen The Grave", however, Willow make amends with an auspicious statement. Coming on like "Mouths Trapped In Static" or "Have you Passed Through This Night?", the track oozes cinematic grandeur: conversations pan amongst static-noise and piano arrangements before breaking from the SFTF staple and igniting into EITS tradition. Although rarely straying from this principal, (one critique here would certainly be its longevity) the band's progressive tendencies unquestionably deserve praise." - The Silent Ballet
released 27 January 2007
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