Mender – The Subtle Sting of Change

What is this? Alright The Captain‘s drummer is a folky? Well not really but if you are familiar with ATC ‘s abrasive madness this will come an interesting surprise.

MENDER is drummer Ashley West-Mullen in disguise and how good is this! He’s been staying up late for weeks pouring over his mixing desk and effects units to produce guitar loops, subtle glitchy electronic bits and haunting vocals and turned up with this highly satisfying offering.

Ten tracks burp and bleep along very nicely thank you as the composer seeks to map out how life weaves threads of change into our being. ‘Plough the Tide’ starts off and leaves us in no doubt where the album it headed. It’s a brave way to open the album lots of treated guitar and voice weaving in and out. ‘Hold Dear’ is smoother and has, for me, a feel of John Martyn.

There is a sweet flow to the record and by track six ‘The Soothing’ I’m getting a KID A / Amnesiac vibe. The mood is tilted by ‘After The Rapture’ which wants to rock out and I guess it does but we are soon back in Boards of Canada territory with ‘Light Leaks’ which is marvelous.

Another shift in pace with ‘The Attention Game’ the aggressive tone unfolds nicely and seems to sits comfortably here. The album closes with a strong instrumental ‘Changeless’. Subtle percussion and phased guitar loops bring the whole piece to an excellent conclusion.

Not surprisingly the rhythmic effects feature strongly throughout this atmospheric and experimental journey -it’s a trip I can recommend you take!
Did I say you can download from Bandcamp for what you can afford? Go on buy him a Stella or two?

Words: Keefy

Mender BandcampSoundcloudTumblrFacebook. Twitter.

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