TOWANDA: FREAK OF NURTURE
Rumbling out of your speakers and into your psyche is TOWANDA, who's latest fuzzed-out riff explosion Freak of Nurture is an absolute mind-melt with brutally dense guitars fused with punk and sludge delivery, and dynamics that create complex, melancholic atmospheres which expand and enhance the emotional depths of the album's aesthetic. This is the band's fourth release and first through Portland, OR label, Girlsville Records, which is SOLD OUT on limited edition cassette but still available for download.
Subtly easing into an unassuming yet somber atmosphere, the opening track "Another Bridge Burned," demands attention with intensely powerful vocals that are matched with poignant lyrics and an impassioned overdriven holler. As it builds, it slowly increasing the intensity and suspense with dreamy and reverb-laden guitars which burst open into a dizzying, wailing and euphoric wall of fuzz. This is the most obvious single of the release, maintaining a poetic middle ground between their anthemic prowess and shoegaze roar.
Pushing the pace higher is "Pain Now, Pain Later," which continues the punishing wall of brute-force and blown-out goodness while furthering the intensity and saturation of the overall tonal palette. Its driving beat and gang vocals show a fiercer dimension to the band, reminiscent of a wide array of acts from Riot Grrrl to Stoner Metal. Capturing the most energetic points of this release, but most certainly not the most bombastic as one can see with the songs to come.
The album takes a sludgier turn on the track "Vanity Project," with it's staggered strut and thick, fuzzed-out drone that submerges you further and further down their frenzied audio spiral. Closing out the EP is "The Anti-Heroine," with its lumbering crawl that goes down a slower and heavier route that is as menacing as it is defiant. This totally killer release shows a range of their capabilities as a band and song writers, definitely keep them on your radar and check out their previous releases for a bevy of other great material.