Of The Sun review - No Wave
Songs on Of the Sun are little loops. Lyrics and musical phrases repeat like mantras, and thud like horses’ hooves. They are direct enough to suggest ideas, but swerve proselytisation and condescension. This doesn’t feel like spinelessness. It feels like Trupa Trupa’s fear of becoming didacts, overcomplicating things into a mansplain-y and dictatorial mess.
The simplicity of their songs mean joy springs from the smallest changes. More impressive than stadium-filling bands are those who make marvels with very little. The switch-up of energy that occurs half way through ‚Mangle’ is brilliant in its subtlety. A little goes a long way, in a mid-song twist that goes toe-to-toe with Swans’ ‚The Seer Returns’.
The band go some way to matching Swans in sheer power, too, with some punchy recording and production. It’s rare and gratifying to hear a studio recording of a bass drum which actually possesses the fury of one (it’s too easy to get used to equalised drips of barely-audible bass drum piss).
Despite inspiring posturing paragraphs about bass drums, Of the Sun has more to offer than traditional rock’n’roll. There is plenty of space for stuff to get weird. The album’s title track is a gorgeous piece which sounds like the machinery of a factory trying to vocalise.
The album’s most psychedelic track, ‚Angle’ is like a quasi-religious encounter. It’s wonky and solemn, the estranged child of Sister Irene O’Connor and Pink Floyd’s ‚The Gnome’. Imagine seeing the burning bush while stumbling back from the pub. It’s transubstantiated, appeared in a sicky bin far from Saint Catherine’s Monastery. A skeptic would say it’s just the song’s title inspiring Freudian slips.
But a sense of rusted-over ecclesiasticism underlines all of Of the Sun, whether intentionally or not. It’s in its pomp, its Benedictine close harmonies and its immanence — its willingness to pan for gold in the world’s gutter. And this confluence of gold and shit perfectly summarises an album which kneads the sun into the clouds. This is music for an uncertain future, exploring deep in the valley of our disunity, panning mistakes from history’s river.
Of the Sun will be released on September 13th. Pre-order and stream tracks from the album here. Read No-Wave’s interview with frontman Grzegorz here.