Warm Brains – Big Wow

As a starter, Warm Brains is but a name for the musical prowess of Rory Attwell, ex-Test Icicles, Kasms, RAT:ATT:AGG and producer extraordinaire (Palma Violets, Yuck, Male Bonding, The Vaccines, and others.) Playing and recording nearly everything on the mammoth 14 track album, Attwell’s wealth of experience is as apparent as it is astounding.

Big Wow is a dense, complex take on alternative, psychedelic indie, but even that sweeping genre title doesn’t quite do the album justice. It is just so very hard to define which is a great credit to Attwell, songs evolve and flit between subgenres minute after minute, demanding playbacks just to make sure you really just heard what you thought you did.

The album excels in the small details; the one-off tracks of fuzzy guitar swirling between the speakers on ‘White Monitor Screens’, the intertwining melodies on ‘Another Queue At Coinstar’ with guitar, bass, vocal and piano melodies all playing off each other at once. It’s a wonderfully executed album, but you’re not really supposed to know it.

A sense of self deprecation runs throughout, and is even alluded to in the album title itself. But all this seems a smokescreen by Attwell to play down his talent, but unfortunately for him it’s starkly apparent from beginning to end. Thematically drifting between the obtuse and the blunt with ease, phrases like “I’m sat on a train, with all the people on their fucking iphones” are fitted songs effortlessly, never coming across as forced or blasé. It is however a shame as due to the immense instrumentation, these lyrics often get lost in the mix.

The album peaks with lead single ‘Pink Blackpool Rock’ which itself is a perfect microcosm of the band; awkward, obtuse and self-deprecating, yet full of melodic charms and haunting melodies.

Rory Attwell is an excellent musician regardless of whether he wants you to realise it, and in Warm Brains he’s found the perfect medium to showcase this. Big Wow is deeply layered, highly interesting and brutally honest. It runs a bit on the long side and occasionally the massive production drowns out certain parts but these are but irks easily overlooked in the grand scheme of one man’s unbridled creativity.

Warm Brains play The Green Door Store on Saturday 31st of October and you’d be mental to miss it.


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