Wednesday, February 08, 2017

EP Review :: Thula Borah - Near Life Experience


Thula Borah

Near Life Experience

January 27 2017 (Kill Jester Records)


Words: Alison Mack

This latest six-track release from the Glasgow alt-rock band is a fairly lengthy collection of sludgey dynamics that encompass everything from post-rock, post-hardcore to grunge and emo sensibilities. Therefore, this part fuzzy, part post-punk amalgam may on one hand be considered to have something for all musical tastes, and on the other, too schizophrenic.

The opening five-minute-plus instrumental ‘Analysis Paralysis’ combines bold guitar riffs with equally distortion, which you keep expecting to break out but never does. Putting this at the start of the record perhaps was not the best planning, as single cut, the feedback riven 'The Psychopath Test' with the dark vocal presence of Lloyd James Fay which follows, would have provided a better kick-off. ‘Confabulation’ has the immediacy of an indie-rock classic, but there is also a more subtle shift at this point too.

The second half of the record is more down played and introspective with 'Do No Harm' trading on lo-fi acoustics before firing up into big sonic swells. The nine-minute, grandiose 'Unhappen' could have been transported from a 70s prog rock record, before the life-affirming closing title track opens on simple acoustic guitar and Fay taking the pace slowly as drums and effects come in to caress the melodies to make for quite a bewitching end that could almost be a different band to the record's first half.

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