The debut album release of This Band is Full of Spiders, The White Lodge blends many elements to create a very eclectic sound arrangement. With highs, lows, stability, insanity, chaos, melody, and variety, The White Lodge offers a little hook for anyone and then reels them in with the depth and memorable progressions.
The album opener “Karma” lays a foundation of almost static ambient sound and finishes strong with a powerful outro to give the listener a perception that the album is “warming up”. Following that is “Whisper Creek”, featuring bold guitars with fast and furious bass support. Stepping up from the opening track’s foundation, “Whisper Creek” brings in a unique guitar balance that smooths out before big payoff in the outro.
Changing the direction by featuring a lilting ska-esque guitar presence, the third track “Childhood Toys” combines an upbeat tempo with more whimsical bass progressions to create a sound that really stands out on an album predominantly dedicated to more hard rock influences. Short and sweet at 1:49 in length, “Childhood Toys” ends as it begins, with an epic ska-rock outro that leaves the listener completely open to whatever may come next.
Fourth on the track list, “Elysian Manifest” serves as somewhat of an anchor for the songs of The White Lodge. Featuring pounding guitars that revolve around the bass as a center focus with very deliberate drums and traces of hardcore roots, this song serves well in combining many of the most prevalent aspects of the album, as well as enhancing the previous “Childhood Toys” as a deviation from the standard. Following “Elysian Manifest” is “The Farm Boy and The Moon”, a song that smooths out the guitars but maintains hardcore tones with deep bass and balanced feel of adventure, dread, and action.
The only collaboration on The White Lodge is track number six, “Explorers of Egypt”, featuring Kruxsaur. With a very ambiguous, dark, and brooding intro, “Explorers of Egypt” re-introduces the more melodic feeling instilled in the listener at the beginning with “Karma”. Utilizing methodically timed guitar riffs with ambient fade-ins and smooth transitions, this track balances with “Elysian Manifest” in a spectacular way, focusing on more on the hard rock than the hardcore.
Drawing from “Explorers of Egypt”, the seventh track “Downward Spirals” also uses a fade intro, but the ambiance is short lived and is replaced by a much darker, heavier sound. With deep bass, hectic guitar work, and drums that seemingly travel to every end of the percussion spectrum for speed and timing, the song pulls you down to a level below “Explorers of Egypt”. A more solemn, almost somber level. It’s an excellent journey into the more emotional depths of The White Lodge. Continuing the ride is “Like Machines Do”, a quick and dirty song with flaring guitars and what could easily be the most methodical and bold song on the album. Deep bass, eccentric riff organization, and outstanding drum work all come together to widen the album’s experience even further.
Track nine, “Seeping”, returns us to the darker reaches of “Downward Spirals” with fast-paced progressions, balanced guitars, with extra attention given to the equal representation of all guitars. Breaking up smoother sound bites with chunky breakdowns, “Seeping” presents as a half-melodic, half-gritty beast that means business. The final, and longest, track on The White Lodge is “Elysium In Binary”. Starting with crashing drums over a slow and simple guitar intro, this track seems to slowly buildup over the entire first four minutes it plays. You get lost in the melody, the ambiance, and the powerful sound of the guitars. Then, with powerful and climactic ending, the experience is brought full circle, leaving a very substantial and fulfilling feeling for the listener.
An excellent debut if I ever heard one, The White Lodge by This Band is Full of Spiders is very varietal and makes excellent use of mood changes changes while maintaining a uniform fluidity that really stands out and presents well to the ears. It’s a high recommendation for those seeking great examples of how tie together a collection of songs into a singular experience.
A Punk-o-Matic Community Project based off a Flash game by Evil Dog Games
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