Vincas: Deep in the Well LP
HBO's hit first season of True Detective found a remarkable soundtrack to the murky mires of Louisiana, courtesy of the maestro himself, T Bone Burnett. That collection of songs not only earned the praise of critics and fans alike, but they also did something more important: those songs, threatening and unnerving, ugly and alive, gave voice and pulse to the moody landscapes they played against. Athens' Vincas have accomplished much of the same, creating something like an alternative soundtrack to the murder and menace of those wetlands. The band’s new album, "Deep in the Well", relishes in this dark vibe with its concoction of swampy, psychedelic haze and an unnerving punk rock attitude. It's a winning sound. Highlights like the explosive, riff-fueled "Blood Bleeds" find the band channeling its pure, kinetic energy into short, murky, noise-laden bursts. Keeping the songs under four minutes works well. Here, the band bashes down doors, steals your attention, and makes the getaway quick enough to leave you wanting more. But Vincas isn't afraid to drop down the noise levels — or the tempo — if only for a moment. Look no further than the deliberate, militant stomp of "Lowborn," whose propulsive beat lulls listeners into a trance. The sickening unease prevents a sense of security, and the inevitable outbreak of exasperated howls and screaming guitar hits like a sledgehammer across the face. All this adrenaline warrants a breather, though, right? Well, not really. The closest thing Vincas offers is the simmering malaise of "Murder," which trades in noise rock aggression for an uncomfortable lurch signaling imminent doom. Given the aesthetic at work, this is a valid choice, and one fans will likely approve, even if album purists will find fatigue kicking in the deeper they dive into the record. Still, this minor nitpick isn't nearly enough to dampen Vincas’ success here. "Deep in the Well" showcases a band with walls to shake and ears to bleed, and they couldn't seem more ready and able to march down the warpath and into the mire. Black vinyl in full colour sleeve with digital download coupon.