When you think of Champaign-Urbana, you think of either their atmosphere-heavy dreampop bands (Absinthe Blind, Headlights, Gazelle, Psychic Twin) or their spaced-out, melodic juggernauts (Hum, Castor, Centaur). Winder might be getting their groove on the second set, but grab some inspiration from the first one.
How so? There’s that emo/post-hardcore method that mixes a little lo-fi, distortion and, above all, intimacy, that harks to the quieter introspection of Sunny Day Real Estate. Then there’s the melodic sensibility that weaves a lucid dream sensation. The latter is found abundantly in track #3, ‘Spirit Photography’. This track jumps from a peaceful drone into energetic beams, perhaps some leftover geothermal energy from the opening track, ‘Away with you’. With its razor-sharp incisors, ‘Away with you’ tears the shrink-wrap enclosing Always Assume.
‘Crane claw’ sports fine guitar noodling, caressing your ear canals with a rhythm section having as much fun as they can while keeping both guitarists on their toes. ‘Fated’ is a wonderful, inventive closing track. The ferocity of spacegaze, the taciturn meditation of emo. If a genre is coined for this gem of a song, it would be Astralemo (or Cosmoemo -still undecided-). The smouldering pace wastes away with the last minute of pure feedback, fading slowly into an eerie silence, maybe to pounce back, with sharpened claws. Don’t flinch when they come back, instead, embrace Winder.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López