WANDERER – Liberation From A Brutalist Existence
August 31, 2021, 12 months ago
(Entelodon Records/Bad Mouth Recordings)
Minneapolis' Wanderer have a couple EPs under their belt, but debut full-length Liberation From A Brutalist Existence is their first with new vocalist Dan Lee. And what a great debut it is, the band getting things right from the get-go, with opener “Marionette” making it pretty clear that fans of Trap Them, All Pigs Must Die, and Baptists are gonna love this one, all feedback-drenched, d-beat-loving second of it.
Then “Mind Leash” comes along and drops the blasts and, yeah, I'm excited, my left leg is tapping at unbelievable speeds, I'm brought back to when this sort of sound—usually delivered with Kurt Ballou's production; here it's not Ballou but the sonics are great regardless—was just the best, and it sorta still is just the best. “Bloom” has a bass line and rhythm that brings classic New York noise rock to the table, never a bad thing, neither is “Hellhole”'s sludge or “Simone”'s blasting and d-beating all the way home. Nearing the end of the album, the band stretches their wings a bit, with “Bourn” laying down three minutes of angular sludge, like a more death metal Knut, and “Contended” closing things off with almost four minutes of despondent and discordant doom.
This is peak-era Relapse or Hydra Head stuff, which means I'm all on board. Throw in a perfect 23-minute run time, and a cover that has colours and atmosphere that perfectly match the music, and you've got an extremely impressive debut here.