Having been hooked on a pair of singles from the band in recent weeks, we just had to look into the new EP from Canadian outfit THE EMBER GLOWS. A four track offering, Where Spirits Play soon revealed that those lead tracks were true echoes of the EP’s overall invention and prowess, and a sound which is trespass and temptation united.
Montreal-based, THE EMBER GLOWS merge indie rock and post-punk in their sound and equally embrace psych and noise pop essences within its creative body. The band itself consists of Richard Bunze (guitar), Kevin Hills (bass), Martin Saint (vocals/guitar) and Dan Stefik (drums), a quartet of friends since their teenage years who are members of bands such as ROOM CONTROL, REPO, SCENE NOIR and CITYLAKE. In many ways THE EMBER GLOWS is their side project but one reaping rich attention and acclaim, so much so that with Where Spirits Play now fuelling the success we can only see it taking more of a centre stage for its members, certainly for this year leading into the next.
Where Spirits Play opens with Tomorrow’s The Day, guitars immediately casting tension and a clamour urged lure from which suspense bearing melodic lines and Saint’s magnetic tones emerge. That noisiness continues to align with the songs rising sonic and melody tuned enterprise, hues of bands like ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN and THE SOUND adding to its thick drama and hope bearing captivation. The track is superb, a mighty start to the release setting the tone and creative breath of the record.
The Mirror follows with a lone melodic guitar line luring ears and setting the restrained but restless breath of the song. It is an evocative presence which gets denser by the second though it dissipates a touch as vocals share the song’s contemplations on the dark secrets of nations and the facing of “the weight of history and the past” when it collectively hits us hard. The song ebbs and flows in intensity and ferocity, emotion soaking every aspect like a tempestuous bearing fog.
Exploring “steadfast love, the fragility of life and the power of silence”, Silent Love follows, its rhythmic welcome instant manipulation to which early U2 meets …The Bunnymen hued enterprise soon adds it’s tempting. Across the release though, any references are suggestions of ingredients within the bold individuality of THE EMBER GLOWS sound, this song in particular crafting its inescapable uniqueness and rousing prowess. Dramatic and hungrily infectious, the track soon burrowed under the skin sparking keen participation.
The EP closes with High Fever, a smoggy tumult of post punk ‘n’ roll under sonic speared skies and lit up with fuzzy melodic flames. The track is kaleidoscopic; every twist around its evocative words and equally potent vocals brings new sonic winds and rapacious shadows aligned to the equally increasing light fuelled intimation and uproar.
It is a mushrooming cloud of drama, enterprise and pleasure; one riveting end to one striking encounter; now all THE EMBER GLOWS need do is await the rich plaudits.
Where Spirits Play is out now; available @ https://theemberglows.bandcamp.com/album/where-spirits-play
Pete RingMaster 15/11/2022
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