V Column

Written by: PP on 09/12/2011 05:36:08

If it wasn't for their strange name, Awooga would be touring with some big name bands within the realm of experimental rock. That much I can deduce from the immersive layered wall of sound emitted by the Sheffield, UK three-piece's new album "V Column", whose trippy artwork is only reflective of their musical style in general. This is experimental rock with deep progressive rock undertones, though not in the yawn sense of most generic prog rock, but more in the ambient, textured soundscapes sense of bands like Tool, City Of Ships, Isis, and A Perfect Circle.

The two units by Maynard James Keenan are the closest reminiscent of the sound purveyed by Awooga throughout the record, mostly due to the ambient soundscapes that sound like cleaned up versions of sludge metal every now and then. Lets take "Helix", for instance, which starts out by resembling Tool to the letter, but progresses beyond the complexities of Tool into City Of Ships style experimental rock; "Thief" definitely sounds like an outtake from "Look What God Did To Us", but that need not be a bad thing.

Sometimes you'll encounter brooding passages that are as heavy as they are all-encompassing in their immersive nature, elsewhere you'll be captivated by hauntingly beautiful sections where the band are subtly catchy in the midst of very progressive, very intricately constructed soundscapes. "Thief" and "Grain" both offer such moments.

I guess experimental rock like "V Column" will never be popular enough to enable Awooga to play larger venues. It's a shame because this record is nearly comparable to the brilliant records by many of the bands mentioned in this review. Yes, the songs are lengthy, but there is no filler nor instrumental wizardry, for Awooga concentrate on building rich and rewarding soundscapes instead.


Download: Grain, Helix, Thief
For the fans of: Tool, A Perfect Circle, Boil, Bokor, City Of Ships, Isis
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 07.07.2011

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