‘Shifting Initiation’ by Warped Freqs reviewed

❉ This album feels like a shot in the bloodstream, writes We Are Cult’s Eoghan Lyng.

Warped Freqs have unveiled an excitingly electric album. All through the release Shifting Initiation, wafts of purging guitar parts explode from the speakers. In each and every one of the tracks, there’s an electric energy that emanates beyond their namesake instrument.

Take Nantucket, a jazz shuffle that recalls The Shadows’ shaded guitar patterns. Take Blast, an  explosive, two-punch no frills rocker that sounds like a rocket blasting into space. Or take Bluff, a  cosmic vignette lilting with organic,elegiac energy. Warped Freqs are fronted by Marcus H, an  idiosyncratic artist whose deft hand carries lyrical weight in and amongst the guitar arpeggios. The album is mostly instrumental, and proves a workshop in shifting dynamics. More importantly, it explodes through a series of cataclysmic guitar patterns. The album benefits from making every song different to the one that was played before.

The album is perfect Pandemic Listening; centrepiece Blist captures the essence of what made Pink Floyd so vital over a startlingly icy fourteen minutes. Where Bob Dylan captured life in his similarly sprawling Murder Most Foul, Blist aims for lifelessness in the same prolonged time-frame. Much of the track sounds staggering: it opens on a glistened keyboard pattern, before exploding into an  avalanche of cascading drum fills. The song swiftly changes into a space-jazz painting, as piercing guitar lines flow in and out of the overhanging microphones. What the tune lacks in urgency, it more than makes up for in its dazzling invention.

The songs rely on their guitars to channel the singing, but the seventh track, Solitude, offers some ambient recordings that were taken out there (it’s all fairly out-there!), something in the Metropolitan jungle that surrounds us.It opens on an argument, two lovers positioning their unhappiness on an album surfeited with happiness. Apropos to theme, the reverb heavy guitars seem to echo the discontent of the everyday Casanova.

DTB comes closest to channeling an out and out rocker, as pounding drums propel the spiky guitars onward to the song’s glorious climax. It’s inventive, it’s slick and it’s fun. It successfully channels the ambition of The Beatles, while proudly standing on its own two-pronged feet. The album feels like a shot in the bloodstream, at a time when our bloodstreams await the necessary vaccines that will send this virus far away. It’s the album the world needs right now!

❉ ‘Sacred Initiation’ by Warped Freqs is out now as a digital download, visit Bandcamp to order. It will be released on vinyl by Wormhole Records later in the year. Twitter: twitter.com/warpedfreqs

  A regular contributor to We Are Cult, Eoghan Lyng’s writing has also appeared in New Sounds, Record Collector, CultureSonar, Punk Noir Magazine, DMovies, Phacemag and other titles. Follow him on TwitterVisit his homepage. 

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