Thursday, March 31, 2016

Wo Fat – Midnight Cometh

It is not often that I listen to an album that leaves my jaw on the floor for the duration of said album. Perhaps I'm a little jaded, or maybe it's that between my radio show and these reviews, I literally hear hundreds of releases every year. Recording technology is so prevalent and so inexpensive that pretty much anyone or any band can record and release their music, and no offense, but the very vast majority of it is generic and mediocre.

When I dropped the needle on this new release from Wo Fat, not only did my jaw hit the floor, but my ears rejoiced and that deep, reptilian part of my brain was dancing in ecstasy. As a fan of heavy music, I was familiar with the previous releases from this band, but this, this is Wo Fat on a completely different level. This is not just one step up. This album has me wondering if perhaps aliens came to visit the band and gave them a DNA injection of galactic level heaviness.

If, by chance, you are not familiar with this band, the best way I can describe them is a heavy rock band that can groove and get a little funky, and can seem to bend time and space with their rhythmic alchemy. They very often are lumped into the stoner rock genre, and I can see how that happens, but they are so much more that. To do so is not fair to them. There are elements of doom and classic rock in what they do. And did I mention that they are heavy?

I listened to album opener, “There's Something Sinister In The Wind”, and for the first couple of minutes, it seemed like a straight ahead rocker. Then without warning, all of these rhythmic twists and turns started happening and the song morphed first in one direction, and then into something completely different. Yet with every change the band was right there, together, blowing my mind. It is an astonishing track to listen to; you really need to do it. My words are never going to do it justice.

“Of Smoke And Fog” is another stunner. Perhaps it doesn't quite hit Hendrixian levels, but the opening minutes definitely have a Trower-esque feeling, that is, until the heaviness slowly sneaks in the absolutely levels everything in its path. And then melding back into the vibe of the opening minutes.

I mentioned alchemy in an earlier paragraph, and that is truly what this band does on this album. They take the basic elements of guitar, bass and drums, and create something that simply has to be heard. The creativity and flexibility of this band on this album are like an entirely new element, something that is rarely achieved in the oversaturated world of music these days. I mentioned just a couple of tracks, but every one of the six songs on this album deserve to be heard over and over again. There aren't too many albums these days that need to be heard, but this is definitely one of them. This is well and truly an album of the year candidate. If this is what midnight sounds like, I hope we can freeze time so that it is always that time of night.


1 comment:

dan said...

They really are an astonishing band, the bar is raised each and every time they release an album. With any luck, this will be the release that catapults them into the rarefied air of the likes of Elder, Graveyard et al.
I almost consider them a blues rock band, they can do heavy with the best of them but they never forget that the groove is vital - it's impossible not to nod your head to this.
On top of that, they are all lovely people who came to play a gig in the arse of nowhere in France because I asked nicely :)

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