Just over two years after the release of their debut, Deserve to Die, the enigmatic Woolworm again step out of a dimly lit corner of the Vancouver punk scene to bring forth their next instalment, Awe. The flurry of gritty songs stays in line with Woolworm’s ingenious mixture of their hardcore songbook delivered with memorable pop sensibilities.
The album kicks off with the title track, featuring Woolworm’s signature layered guitar tones. The crystalline intro riff melts into clear, vocal lines with lyrics that are simultaneously hopeful and melancholic.
It’s on songs like “Dogman” and “Finally” where Woolworm use tone to create rhythm — the fast change between the contrasting high-end chorus and low-end grit of the open-sounding guitars over the heaviest drum lines presents a subtle but powerful counter rhythm. Woolworm seem to be slightly faster on Awe than on their previous release. “Can’t Be Fucked” lurches ever-forward instrumentally, while the vocals lay back for the delivery of every “Uh-huh.”
The final track introduces an unusual sound from Woolworm — a low, haunting synth line. It surrounds the rumbly, gained-out bass and matches the low moaning vocal performance. Woolworm have developed a clear and ever-present signature, and it’s all over the record. Awe launches listeners into instability — like a broken carnival ride gone off the track, with no seatbelts to keep you tied down. (Mint)
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