Mares Of Thrace
posted on 11/2010 By:
For some reason, based on the enigmatic moniker and the fact this band is a duo of delectable tattooed Canadian gals, I had it in my mind that the debut from Calgary’s Mares of Thrace would be a more intrinsic, doomy, and ethereal affair akin to It Will Come or Grayceon. Boy, was I wrong. And disappointed. The Moulting is instead 33 minutes of sludgy, discordant hardcore/post-hardcore not unlike a more raw and rough version of Kylesa or even Made Out of Babies, and frankly, even after coming to grips with the style, it’s simply not a great album.
Now that I’ve blown my chances of scoring with Ms. Thérèse Lanz (Guitar, Vocals) and Stefani MacKichan (Drums), the 33 minutes of the album’s run-time simply don’t do enough to hold one's attention, beyond the fact that it's two ladies plying it. Some may appreciate the fact that these ladies have chosen to take a more noisy, raucous approach to music instead of the obvious path. And certainly there is some conviction in the playing and Lanz’s throaty, distant shrieks, but if you take the music at face value, there’s not that much here.
After the intro “Harsh Tutelage of the Waltzing Kodiak” the next eight tracks and one interlude sort of jumble together into one heaving, scrawling, lo-fi, garage-band-quality mess. And despite the fact that such may be the duo's goal and that Ms. MacKichan can play the drums and Lanz can play the guitar, compositionally, the songs just wander and warble with an aimless feedback fuzz and lurch. Even occasional dips into more expected delicate ‘female’ realms like the clean vocals in “General Sherman” (the album’s ‘best’ track) and “The Arch” are buried in seemingly structureless noise and dissonance. And when the duo does settle into a more enjoyable steady riff (“Perseid”, “Venison”), it's short-lived and cut off by more jam-session-like histrionics.
Ultimately, by the time “Calcium Channels” and “Opportunist” crawl and stagger by, I’m ready to move on to something a little more feminine or caustic rather than this sort of temperamental musical middle ground.
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