EP Review – The White EP by The Black Watch (2021) (Self released)

TBWart

After revelling in the wall of sound fuzz-pop of October 2020’s Fromething Somethat album and enjoying the melodic, C86 ramshackle of the superlative Brilliant Failures album, perhaps The White EP is The Black Watch just letting it go.
As such the tracks The Lonesome Death of Mary Hansen and Twisted Thinking, from the above two albums respectively, appear to be something of a template and/or early warning sign for the general aesthetic of this EP.
All fuzz and reverb, all of these track celebrate the band’s innate ability to take a trip past the edges of fuzz-pop and delve deeply into a fuzz rock abyss that it is so densely guitar-populated that another band might / producer might get lost in what, at it’s best, is a dirty smog.
However, John Andrew Frederick / The Black Watch and just as crucially, producer Rob Campanella (The Black Rebel Motor Cycle and The Tyde), somehow manage to take various routes to force hints of melody through the absolute thickness of the guitar malaise.
The chiming riffs are accentuated in Off You Go Redux!, to provide a spiky, almost post-punk angularity, Off You Go takes a slight House of Love journey to the subtle melodic, whereas There and Hear assumes a beautifully David Gedge / The Wedding Present plaintive.
Essentially, this is The Black Watch at their most raucous and dynamic. Of course they have too many ideas, musical appeciations and influences to ever indulge themselves in this noise on a full release basis.
However, when John Andrew Frederick roars into his mic at the end of Off You Go, you know we have been priviledged to hear him get something perfectly primal off his chest.

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