10 for 2012: #4 – Worship

By on Wednesday, 7th December 2011 at 11:00 am
 

In the last couple weeks, we asked you to vote for the top 10 artists you thought would be big in 2012. We’re now on #4 on the list, and things are about to turn dark…

I’ve discussed before the concept of terroir: the concept that the region from which a musician springs has an unavoidable influence on their style. With that concept in mind, try to imagine what a band from Reading – the city which co-hosts hosts the most popular and longstanding mainstream rock festival this country has to offer, and not a part of London but within its cultural gravitational pull – would sound like.

There’s a reasonable chance you’d come up with a sound not dissimilar to that which Worship purvey – definitely a rock band, but primarily orchestrated by electronic instruments, calmly, icily, pumping away. There’s no conventional rock histrionics here, no-one loses their temper or shreds a window-shattering guitar solo, but there is an underlying tone of unsettled menace which gives the music its power. As with a lot of new acts, it’s unavoidably tempting to pick out the separate strands of influence: bits of Thom Yorke’s solo work in the sparse, soaring vocal over not-quite-electronica beats (‘Collateral’ [watch the video below] even references “rabbit in the headlights”, maybe an oblique reference to Thom’s seminal collaboration with DJ Shadow, ostensibly the start of his romance with electronica?); the reliance on swathes of sounds rather than traditional guitar tones is how Keane (remember them?) approached things; and an almost Balearically relaxed approach to song structure.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAk7H6EiIL4[/youtube]

At times the arrangements can seem rather pleased with themselves: ‘Distant Sirens’ finds it appropriate to spend half a minute repeating a simple piano riff just where the chorus should be. Indeed, choruses are conspicuous by their absence. Not a band for those who like 2-minute powerhouses of songs, these guys take their time, strolling through their themes, ensuring nothing is left underdeveloped. Recent single release ‘House of Glass’ (review here) is a dark, polished, limpid piece, a brilliant example of musical onomatopoeia. It’s still early days in the band’s career – they’re quite candid that they are just starting work on writing their first album, so we don’t know how their material will develop into a long-player. There’s plenty of stuff on their Soundcloud, and those who would rather sway rather than mosh at rock gigs should give it a careful listen. They’re tailor made for a late-afternoon Reading slot. And they won’t have far to travel home.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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