Cwiredband – Angel/Circuit Engaged
When it comes to creating a compelling record of any size, rock n’ roll buffs aren’t going to find a more cunning combo than Cwiredband and the unit’s new extended play Angel Circuit Engaged right now. In one of the EP’s cornerstones, “Little Sisters,” Cwiredband is dishing out a bristling sonic destruction that is peppered with a melodic vocal from the eponymous frontman equally rooted in prismatic pop and old fashioned rock swing. It isn’t the only example of sheer unadulterated force that Angel Circuit Engaged contains, but next to the hot iron sear of “Angels Are Not Afraid of the Dark,” it might just be the most streamlined number.
“Angels Are Not Afraid of the Dark” has an almost gothic overtone to its lyrical delivery, but the music itself is straight out of a proto-heavy metal playbook. Tensions are high in this song, but the chorus provides a nice patch of catharsis that prevents the mood from sinking into melancholy. In the similarly primal “Persian Woman,” Cwiredband toys with stop/start dynamics in the style of early alternative rock. Despite the calculated arrangement of the drums, the percussion never topples the guitar and organ dueling that washes the middle portion of the song in virtuosic blues textures.
My favorite tune from Angel Circuit Engaged is probably “Climb the Mountain,” which starts off with a treble-saturated electric guitar clawing its way through an intimidating wall of atonal white noise. I think it was wise to put “Climb the Mountain” between the progressive “Botticelli Baby” and angst-ridden “Persian Woman” in the arrangement of the songs, as it not only creates a theatrical entrance for the follow-up track, but also picks up where the funky outro in the previous song left off.
The title track is the most anthemic piece of hard rocking rhythm that I’ve ever heard before, and for all the talk about how the guitar solo as we know it is disappearing from the modern pop lexicon, this song features a tense lead that poses a very worthy opposing argument to the theory. Cwiredband isn’t interested in perpetuating stereotypical lyrics or redistributing melodies that once brought a generation of music fans to worship at the feet of the rock n’ roll gods in Angel Circuit Engaged; instead, this record was designed to make us swing our hips and bang our heads to a stately collection of experimental jams that owe nothing to the mainstream pop model. This is an EP that casual listeners will like and hardcore rockers will love.