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Come To My Party Julian Marszalek , February 19th, 2016 08:54

Whether it’s by accident or design, music can’t help but be evocative. Somewhere along the line of the listening experience comes a point that acts as trigger to release those memories of love, pain, happiness, sadness or, in the case of murky New York duo, Winkie, the abject terror and misery that comes with certain aspects of childhood.

An album shrouded in dark shadows, cold nights and industrial noise, Come To My Party dredges up not so much those long, drawn out summers that seemed to last forever but instead those nights when your parents would argue viciously until dawn, or those times when next door’s massive German Shepherd would growl at you before eating your ice cream cone from your hand, or the sheer distress of your sister catching chicken pox not too long before your birthday party. And that’s before we even consider the weapons grade levels of bullying and gauntlets run at school.

Not that this is an album that overtly concerns itself with such matters, but on a surface level, Come To My Party is what Todd Solondz’s Welcome To The Doll House would sound like in sonic form. The eight songs contained here are the noises in your head when confronted with emotional oppression, a mechanised grind that taunts and pokes at your very psyche. The vocals, as delivered by the mono named Gina, are childlike in their delivery and more akin to the whine of an infant tugging at its mother’s sleeve demanding sweets when none will be forthcoming. But what really adds to the sense of menace that pervades this collection is that those vocals are compressed and battered to the extent that they sound like messages from the netherworld.

It’s fair to say that Winkie possess a flair for the dramatic. With song titles like 'I Will Not Weep For Any Throne You Fall From', 'At Night They Dreamed Of Revenge' and 'Only The Night People Know' how could they not? But they’re also more than adept at sonic architecture. Booming drum machines, grinding and distorted basslines and layers upon layers of feedbacking guitars - delivered by Gina’s partner and fellow eschewer of superfluous names, Santiago - that sound like colliding chainsaws run through the core of the album and it’s very much a relentless experience from start to finish. Though a strength of the album, this is also a minor weakness and the lack of texture and pace threatens to overwhelm.

Yet for all its childlike evocations (and a band name that really could do with changing), Come To My Party makes for the perfect soundtrack for some pretty adult pursuits. Try it at full blast at your next S&M party. Round about the point the nipple clamps make their first appearance.