Dallas’ True Widow means business. This album is crammed to the britches with sleazy, fraying guitar tone, with minimalistic drumbeats and straight-faced-yet-somehow-crooning vocals and the occasional slow tap of a tambourine. But by “crammed” I do not mean crowded. Space is at a premium for these guys, and they’re always working to create a sense of openness; when they succeed, the results are overwhelming. Even before you start listening to the album, the band is trying to pull you into that expanse – the title reflects, uncannily, what the music is going to do (that is, walk around in circles). Even after the album actually starts, it forces you to listen to 20 seconds of what I can only guess are reverb springs being flicked with a mischievous finger, and so the album begins the same way it intends to carry on.
But it’s the little things that make this album stand out as a dark, creeping masterpiece: that terrifying howl of a spinning record and toy piano at the beginning of “S:H:S”; the way the rhythm of the guitar sort of slips around me on “HW:R”; the fine balance between static and fluid background vocals that amplify that sense of space. And as “LUNGR” starts up with that whale-hymn of feedback and stumbles into its rhythm, that sense of space creeps back into frame, starts once again to drag me down with those haunting, shifting vocal harmonies that echo like the whimper of some weary banshee. Pick up a copy on Relapse Records and let this thing sink you.