Coilguns - Watchwinders review

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Band: Coilguns
Album: Watchwinders
Release date: October 2019

01. Shortcuts
02. Subculture Encryptors
03. Big Writer's Block
04. Watchwinders
05. The Growing Block View
06. Manicheans
07. Prioress
08. The Morning Shower
09. A Mirror Bias
10. Urban Reserves
11. Broken Records
12. Periscope

You take some ex-The Ocean members and you lock them in the studio for one month in order to create a mathcore record akin to a Swiss clock. That's Watchwinders.

You may have heard of Coilguns, but you surely have heard of The Ocean. Coilguns is (or rather was initially) made up of 3/5 of the lineup that recorded Heliocentric, Anthropocentric and Pelagial. They were since joined by another member on synths, but those core three are still in the band. Also they just recently released a new album last year, Millenials so it really wasn't necessary for them to come up with a follow-up so quickly after it. But they decided in the middle of the tour to lock themselves up in a studio for a month with absolutely no note written and craft Watchwinders under all that time constraint stress. You can feel it.

Watchwinders may not be a mathcore album all around, having bits of black metal and post-hardcore and indie rock and noise rock and sludge and electronics that keep it from being a constant wall of dissonant chaos that some mathcore albums usually are, but it does constantly maintain a feeling of anxiety. Anxiety of time passing mostly. Whether in the lo-fi indie moments or the vitriolic hardcore moments, anxiety never leaves. So having it be maintained through so many different means and in so many different paces in a relatively short runtime of just over 40 minutes feels really fresh.

Knowing of how spontaneous and constrained its creation was, I was expecting Watchwinders to feel a lot more rushed and half-assed, but I really don't get that feeling at all, it's clear that they managed to turn that stress into something very creative here and I doubt that they could've made this album that much better if they had more time on their hands. The songwriting in surprisingly cohesive for such a blend of different sounds, me personally being especially surprised by some of the black metal-ish guitar tones in some of the songs as well as the quieter songs. Admittedly all of this does make the album feel too tame at times, but it's really not missing aggressive, especially with songs like "Urban Reserves" around, which all around feel a lot more direct than some of the brooding material on Millenials.

So, they did it, they crafted a very diverse and engaging mathcore and more album in just a month. Now there is no excuse to take so long for any other band, the only valid one being that they're not Coilguns.


Written on 07.11.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.

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