Three years on from their debut EP, THVS have stumbled into life again by releasing ‘Plague Windows.’
Recorded last year, it has only seen the light as of last week.
The band, made up of former members of Comply and Die and Tusks, seem to have been reduced to a well kept secret, gigging and recording once in a while before throwing it out to an unsuspecting public.
And it’s a shame, not only because of the pedigree of the band, but also because you know they can deliver a killer release the way C.O.D did on a regular basis.
As a result, this release feels like an interim one: whetting the appetite of fans by delivering reliable material, but giving the impression that they’re holding back something special to be recorded next time, maybe even still searching for new directions in the studio.
‘Mayblood’ alternates between being a moody, Melvins like chugger and a speedy, Drive Like Jehu type number.
It’s an enjoyable song, but the drum sound isn’t as deep and hard hitting as it needs to be, especially for the faster paced segments.
As a result, the vocals have to carry forward the momentum, and they do the job well in this regard. Also, it would have been nice to hear one or two moments where the bass and guitar properly interlock instead of it just blending into the background.
Released last year as a teaser for this release, ‘Squid Plural’ has the potential to be a great song, but is let down by it’s various riff changes, which alter the tempo and ends up feeling sluggish and punch drunk.
The middle eight has a cool, vaguely psychedelic feel which, if continued for a bit longer, could have taken the song somewhere special. As it stands, it’s the best moment in an under developed song.
It seems a bit lazy keeping ‘Squid Plural’ on this three track release, considering the time it’s taken for ‘Plague Windows’ to come out. Wouldn’t it have been better to have bolstered the track listing with an extra song or two, or even keep ‘Squid Plural’ off altogether, considering it’s job as a “buzz” release was redundant due to the delay in releasing the EP?
However, things end on a much more positive note with the next track.
Unquestionably the greatest song on here, ‘Neon Demons’ reminds me a bit of Motorhead (purely because of the way the rhythm section link in and attack), while the riff is pure stoner rock.
It feels focused, well rehearsed and it rocks. Plain and simple. I love the middle eight where the song slows down and goes all post punk on us for a moment, before the driving bass riff, combined with feedback, kicks the song back into gear.
With enough on here to delight, it’s great to have THVS back. However, more regular releases will see the consistency develop with stronger songs and a more versatile sound in the studio. Let’s hope we see another one soon.
– Christopher Owens ::: 20/06/18