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We Wild Blood
Vicious Virtues Brian Coney , September 17th, 2020 08:38

Hackney's We Wild Blood weave crests of noise into somethign resembling bliss, finds Brian Coney

Born in a Hackney basement back in 2011, We Wild Blood are a fierce amalgam of all that is great and forward-pushing about the state of heavy music on these shores. No doubt priding themselves on being progressively less pigeonholeable by the year, releases like last year's Blood/Money saw the band zoom between cosmic doom, drone punk, pure-cut noise without a second thought to whys and wherefores. Kneejerk taxonomy begone: this was, and still is, simply well-crafted music to flip your shit to.

Originally a twosome, comprising Dan Hunt of Luminous Bodies and Shrunken Heads' Andy Clydeslade, the band are now rounded off with Canoe Club’s Ben Colhoun and Mation Andraus of the Wharves and myriad acts besides. Hitting a decidedly unsweet spot between fucked-off and spaced-out, Vicious Virtues finds the new and improved We Wild Blood peering "inwardly to examine shifting ideas of self and the trappings of identity and mortality.” A tall order and no mistake, but opener ‘You Do Not Exist’ frivols no time to that end. Morphing from a tumbling doom trudge to a full-blown thrash blitz, it’s impressively squalid and sorcerous in equal measure.

Though hardly skeletal as a duo, the band’s recent expansion lends the fist-clenched vim of Vicious Virtues a dense, sweeping backdrop. While ‘Eat Your Tail’ summons thoughts of Liverpool’s finest Conan reconfiguring the second-half of Mogwai’s ‘Like Herod’ (NB: it’s face-melting as all fuck) ‘Lock In’ offers up a special kind of bombast. À la Nomeansno and Flipper banging heads after getting obliterated at Desertfest in Camden, it’s the kind of unyielding scuzz that can only ever be wrought organically, most likely at the tail-end of burning one’s candle at every conceivable end.

Honing in on the aforesaid “trappings of identity and mortality,” ‘Prison Simulator’ and ‘Osiris’ takes several steps back. Marrying squalls of feedback and loose crests of noise that interweave and fall apart, it makes for a brace of zoned-out ambience that only jacks up the much headier offerings elsewhere. But while 'Drinking On Trains' proves another pulverizing peak along the line, nowhere is We Wild Blood’s combustive craft more on view than on ‘You Can’t Bury The Wind’. A scorched postscript, peaking and burning up, it sees drums and low-end fuzz become one before collapsing into itself.

Even at its most collected, Vicious Virtues feels relentless. Aligned with lengthy outings of yore, navigating doomy venues and yet doomier afters in search of something undefinable, this is music that stems from a rare kind of commitment to getting your head smashed in ad infinitum in the hopes of stumbling upon something resembling bliss, or at least a few communal moments more. It doesn’t always arrive - it very rarely does - but the pursuit of it holds sway. So long as they resist the urge to put a name on it, We Wild Blood will remain a conduit for the almighty search in question.