Winter Dust

Existence EP

Written by: TL on 27/02/2012 17:34:37

A quick sample of what sounds like a radio presenter speaking in Italian, and we're off into the first track of Italian quitet Winter Dust's 2011 EP "Existence". The EP was sent to us for review last fall - and have admittedly been lying around for quite some time, apologies for that - and on it, the band presents us a rather novel mix of punk rock, post-hardcore and post-rock. At least it must be pretty novel when I have a very hard time thinking of other bands that sound quite like these guys do, and I suppose that at the very least is to their credit.

Instrumentally, Winter Dust rely on wailing guitars that sound like they could be in an underground post-hardcore band like Dominic, mixed curiously with some rather clean, melancholic piano, that takes up surprisingly much space in the soundscape. Vocals come in two varieties, namely a sort of emo clean voice and a raspy midwest-punk-rock yell that sounds like it would've been more at home at a somewhat brighter and simpler record. Because this isn't a particularly simple EP, with Winter Dust earning the post prefix through some relatively lengthy and labyrinthine compositions.

Unfortunately for Winter Dust, their EP has a few problems, chief among which is its noticeably low-budget production values. The pianos on the record frankly sound beautiful, but as soon as the guitars and samples come in, meaning to compliment them, it sounds more like each instrument is fighting the others to be heard. Similarly, the clean vocals don't always sit confidently in the mix, and on more than one occasion, the harsh ones just feel like they belong on a different kind of record. Furthermore, despite the rather ambitious compositions, the songs on "Existence" are not very consistently enganging, so while opener "Nothing New" has some pretty cool guitar/piano interplay just beyond its middle and "I Was A Promising Goalkeeper" has some decent clean vocal parts as well, the recor as a whole can quickly end up as background noise if you're not trying hard to actively pay attention.

Effectively, "Existence" appears to me as the kind of release that caters only to listeners that are both okay with low-fi production values and already into the genre the band plays in. This of course, is not probably also exactly the audience you go for when you're a small band, trying to get noticed on an EP, and that's perfectly fine. It's just not something to either make your career explode or get you mentioned in the top tier of records on a site like this. If Winter Dust can tighten up over time however, nobody's to say they can't claw their way closer in the future.


Download: Nothing New, I Was A Promising Goalkeeper
For The Fans Of: Scream! Shout! Say Nothing!, City Of Ships, Make Do And Mend

Release Date 24.03.2011

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