29 June 2016

Review: Witterquick – Beneath the Spinning Lights

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witterquick-beneaththespinninglightsEssex quintet Witterquick have been causing quite a stir since their inception in 2014. A handful of well received singles led to a recording session with esteemed producer Romesh Dodangoda, who has worked with acts such as Bring Me the Horizon. The resulting EP, Beneath the Spinning Lights, showcases a self-assured group with commendable song writing craft, even at this early stage of their career.

 

This is, for all intents and purposes, a pop rock EP. The songs are straightforward and accessible, built around memorable vocal hooks and catchy guitar melodies. There are very few riff driven passages, with any heavier sections (relatively speaking) generally used to up the ante and give proceedings a bit more energy, providing an effective contrast to the lighter moments. Vocalist Will Alford possesses an expressive voice and decent range, but at times he’s a bit too timid, with one or two moments where he could perhaps show a bit more grit. Thankfully, any temptation to throw in screams is resisted; there are certainly occasions where they could be used, but the songs are better off without them. The rhythm section holds things steady, again keeping things simple, but there are some nice fills from both bassist and drummer to show they’re not just there to keep the pace. Simplicity really is the key here. These songs have genuine commercial appeal and it’s the sort of thing that could easily become a staple on mainstream radio.

 

“Soldiers” kicks things off, and the clean, clinical production is immediately noticeable. The music possesses a dream-like quality, with a warm, spacey sound. The song is driven by a pulsing bass line, Alford showing off his vocal chops with a nice use of falsetto in the verse. “Fade Out” is the most guitar centric track here. It has a bit more attitude and the catchiest chorus on the EP, with good use of layered vocal lines throughout. There is a lot of attention paid to the vocals, with all sorts of reverb, layering and the like making a huge difference. This is effectively showcased in “The Road”, which is also the best display of aforementioned contrast between light and heavy musical sections. The final two songs don’t quite reach the heights of the three that precede them, but they’re far from poor and round off twenty minutes of great music.

 

There is very little to find fault with here. There’s a lot of potential on display and if they keep this standard up then there really is no reason to see why they couldn’t go on to achieve considerable success. This EP is only the starting point, and whilst they don’t quite knock it out of the park, they get damn well close.

 

Rating: 4/5

Highlights: “Soldiers”, “Fade Out”, “The Road”

Band links: Facebook, Bandcamp

 

By Kevin McDonald

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