Published September 5, 2012
In conversation with myself the other day, I proposed that scene darlings Sudden Weather Change don’t sound excited or fun anymore and that ‘Sculpture’ is the antithesis of the band’s lauded live shows. This was an observation, not to be mistaken for a complaint.
Like all good bands, SWC are moving forward, challenging themselves. Whether the fans of their older material are up for the challenge remains to be seen, but I suspect SWC aren’t preoccupied with expectations because this new album is clearly not intended for summer barbecues or nights on the town. Indeed, it’s bleak and sombre. The soundscape is desolate, sparse, fragile and naked. There are no obvious hooks or slam-dunk choruses to baby the listener.
On the contrary, ‘Sculpture’ is uncomfortable and cumbersome. It’s honest. As is the case with honesty, it can be difficult and unpleasant. Honesty is such a lonely word and ‘Sculpture’ sounds so fucking lonely. It’s like a death scene. Your morbid curiosity makes you watch. Either you’re repulsed or you brave it and get closer. In this case, the latter applies.
‘Sculpture’ must be enjoyed as a whole. It’s reverb-y and noisy. A ride that is as nervous as it is pretty. It’s teetering on the edge, threatening to fall apart and lose you, but its hands shoot out of the dark water to drag you down into the deep again. And you wouldn’t have it any other way.