Friday, December 28, 2012

... THE WELL "seven" (EP review)

Austin, Texas three-piece The Well recently unleashed their debut 7”—the aptly titled ‘Seven’—which is ten and-a-half minutes of garage-rockin’ doom coated in a saccharine sheen. While the band’s sound isn’t particularly polished, the catchy, shared vocal melodies of singer/guitarist Ian Graham and singer/bassist Lisa Alley lend an overall “pop” sound to the tunes. Even though the band isn’t blatantly wearing their influences on their collective sleeves, it comes as no surprise that they list Sonic Youth and The Raveonettes as artists that they appreciate along with many of the usual suspects such as Black Sabbath, Pentagram, and Blue Cheer. 
 Both tracks of the single, “Act II” and “Trespass”, are up-tempo jams that, at times, roar with garage-punk intensity. The main riff of “Act II” features an impressive, growling distortion that is the dominant force of the track until about midway through where the rhythm section of Alley and drummer Jason Sullivan really shine by keeping the song grounded amidst Graham’s feedback soaked, freak-out soloing. “Trespass” utilizes some heavy wah pedal abuse and reigns in the distorted roar a bit giving the bass playing of Alley more of a spotlight. Despite being the shortest song of the single, “Trespass” offers a little more variety throughout the track and really gives the individual players the space they need to stand out.
 The Well’s mixture of stoner metal, doom, and garage rock is nothing new, but the shared boy/girl vocals give this band a unique, if somewhat, “poppy” twist. The two tracks of ‘Seven’ are both infectious and rock-solid. While their sound is light years away from the sludge-pop stylings of Torche or the T. Rex influenced doom of Winters, fans of these two bands might immediately take to The Well. It’ll be interesting to see how this young band continues to develop and where they’ll take their brand of doom on future release. While it looks like The Well has sold out of the ‘Seven’ 7” (which included some cool, “imposter” album sleeves), you can still check them out and get a digital copy on their Bandcamp page.
 Steve Miller

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