wtchs

She Walks, She Creeps took two years to make. Within those two years, WTCHS went through a lot. Line-up changes, adding a member, scrapping an album they were working on, and re-envisioning what they wanted out of their sound were just some of the things the band experienced.

If this had been a period with less activity, their new album very well could have sounded quite different. But you can tell WTCHS took every negative moment, every burst of creativity, every change to their core identity, and every inspiring moment of that time as a chance to put their best selves into their work. She Walks, She Creeps, for all of its moments of tension and doom, is full of moments that make you see life from a different vantage point.

The album, which requires immediate multiple listenings, is a tapestry. Yes, many artists and bands within this realm of music sprawl, but the story can often times get lost in a desire to showcase technicality in musicianship over the narrative. This is where the Hamilton quintet enjoy their firmest footing. Where one might cynically expect another doom/noise metal album, the abundance of shifts in both music and story leave no room for complacency.

From the opening, which feels like panning out on the aftermath of a fallout, to the closing track, which is striking in its enormous minimalism, you need to train your mind to avoid trying to predict what lies ahead. Album opener “Black Actors” is like witnessing something ritualistic in this new world while painting a foreboding scenery. Organized chaos, with sound coming from all angles, slowly unravels over the following tracks until the album begins to fall in on itself like a gravitational collapse, most noticeably on “Young Girls.”

A track like “Old Crowns” may be like looking over your shoulder every few seconds thanks to paranoia, but something like album closer “Six Of Cups” is a solo journey through fog that doesn’t let up, and you don’t feel like turning away from it. Vocals can sometimes get swallowed, but they can also echo and scramble around your skull, like what happens in “Old Crowns.”

“Choke Bored” is where you start to see the tides turning most clearly – a very fitting job for a track nicely placed in the midpoint of the album. This is where you’re first taken to a precipice where there’s nothing between you and an expansive horizon. Patient in its unhurried tempo, the track is calculated and deliberate in the turns it marks. There are moments where tightly wound moments of frenzied detonation seem ready to be lit, especially on “Whitney at the Rifle Range,” but the second half of the album is the metaphorical yin to the opening half’s yang.

Admirable for its patience, balances between chaos and calm, attention to detail, and depth of song creation in general, She Walks, She Creeps is available October 28th. You can get it on their bandcamp then. Joey Smith