Carson Wells - Tread A Northern Path (12"-LP)
It's clear from the outset that there is a fuller sound to their post hardcore this time around. There remains a distinct appreciation of 00s-mo along the way and Sinaloa might be an obvious reference point but you'll also notice a healthy appreciation of the 90s with plenty of talk-mo. What's also noticeable is the alternation of all the members' vocals. The vocals have a desperate side on a lot of their songs but there's plenty of variation with all three band members weighing in with their fair share of vocals. That fuller sound I mentioned hasn't taken anything away from the dynamics in their songs and there is still an epic side to their sound with their trademark grooving prevalent. Throughout the record, the tracks build and there is an emphatic edge to the rhythm section. The default (almost) title track, "Northern Path, Southern Lens" has that epic feel and evokes the ghost of Kolya with spoken vocals drifting in and out towards more powerful vocals. I think this might be the best song on here with the melodic guitar sound, and the trading of sung and yelled vocals towards the end nails it. On another day I might tell you that "Final Throne" is the best song with its rattling bass sound and more powerful ending. The measured aggression of "Mosaic of Sleepers" is another highlight. It's driven and while there is an aggression it remains reined in. The vocals are bang on for me - they refrain from flying out of control altogether but the desperation is tangible but has a knack of sneaking up on you. It ends on the superlative "June" which again switches between spoken and more desperate vocals and has a yelled focal point halfway through as the track slows and rebuilds itself to its intense second half. A perfect ending to the record.
There is a depth to the songwriting and intricacy to the record that is brought out all the more on repeated listens - it's perhaps something of a slower burner in that sense but it runs deep. Last year we had Human Hands and Plaids both delivering outstanding LPs. This year already has Bonehouse and Carson Wells so I reckon things are pretty good right now.
- Collective Zine
Out on: Black Lake / We Are The Daughters / La Agonía De Vivir / Dingleberry / Adagio830 / Eat A Book / Barely Regal
Recorded by Ross Middlemiss
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