Han pasado algunos años desde su debut, y debo decir que en este segundo trabajo, aunque su comienzo es fulgurante, de alguna manera, su sonido se termina perdiendo en un piélago de sonidos más cercanos a la Electrónica psicodélica que a la auténtica lisergia representada por el sonido clásico de guitarras que usualmente concebimos como Psicodelia. Con todo, resulta un disco interesante de degustar.
“2015 sees the return of Welsh psychedelicists White Noise Sound with their second album ‘Like a Pyramid of Fire’.
After honing their craft across the UK and through Europe – with the likes of Super Furry Animals, The Warlocks, Spectrum, Mark Gardener (Ride) and members of Spacemen 3, Spiritualized and The Brian Jonestown Massacre – WNS completed their debut album in 2010 with the assistance of Pete Kember (Spacemen 3 / Spectrum / E.A.R) and magician Cian Ciaran (Super Furry Animals).
Released by cult California based label Alive Records (whose back-catalogue includes releases from The Black Keys, Beachwood Sparks, Iggy Pop and James Williamson and The Soledad Brothers) in 2010 (US) / 2011 (UK), the eponymous debut was greeted with widespread critical acclaim and WNS toured through Europe in its support.
‘Like a Pyramid of Fire’ sees the band take their trademark wall of sound – at once relentlessly pulsating and blissed-out – and conjure from it a sonic palette with range and depth. WNS worked closely with producer / DJ Phil Kieran and again with Cian Ciaran and the result is a metronomic and hypnotic onslaught of melody, groove and exploration which goes beyond the standard tropes of psychedelia” (Press)
I remember seeing The Jesus and Mary Chain for the first time and being blown away by the volume and shear intensity of their live sound. You know you’ve stumbled onto a special band when you yearn for them to turn the amps up louder. Hailing from Cardiff, Wales, White Noise Sound have created a sound that I haven’t heard in many years. This sound is the culmination of taking your JAMC, MBV influences and sending them through a meat grinder, filling it with sweat, feedback and a certain sense of beauty that the volume is never able to completely hide. The band turned it down for a moment to talk shop with our own Sania.
TDOA: So six musicians making a whole lot of noise together, how did you all meet?
WNS: There aren’t a lot of places to go in Swansea – especially for people like us. It was inevitable that we met.
TDOA: The band comes out of Wales, what was it like trying to get your music out there? What is the music scene like?
WNS: There are a number of ‘scenes’ in Wales – but we’re not part of any of them.
We started this band because we couldn’t find anyone immediately around us (in our hometown) doing anything that we considered of any worth.
It’s difficult to get noticed when you come from ‘no-where’ – you need to make it happen.
TDOA: The debut album is out now, it was produced by Peter Kember of SpaceMan 3 and Cian Ciaran of Super Furry Animals, a pretty amazing combo, how did you end up working with them and how was that experience?
WNS: We’ve been lucky to have worked with and / or shared the stage with many of the people that we hold in the highest regard.
We got in contact with Pete some time back and that led to a few all-night recording sessions – it’s fair to say that the experience was ‘formative’.
We were aware of some mixes that Cian had done for other Welsh bands; we were told that he was interested in working with us on the album – we didn’t need to think about it. We couldn’t have asked for more from Cian’s mixes – he is a magician.
TDOA: The album has a sound aesthetic that very closely mirrors your live sound, what’s your recording process?
WNS: The album was primarily recorded in an old Hotel / come 24 hour drinking den in Swansea – it was a case of stepping over the bodies and setting everything up.
We were conscious that we didn’t want to stray too far from what we could produce live.
TDOA: I have to ask you about the track “There’s No Tomorrow” because it really stands out, especially the vocals as a really unique item. It has this understated force to it and so many different directions that I think you could spend all day with it and still never figure out what’s behind it. What was the approach with this song?
WNS: One of the guitarists had the first three chords; they were then built into the general structure by the band; vocal (after a few long nights) written and laid on top; add keys, strings and woodwind; finish with a touch of brass genius from Cian.
TDOA: And also the track ‘Blood’, it has a garage rock feel to it, what was the direction with that particular song?
WNS: The Stooges on crack.
TDOA: The band has shared the stage with and collaborated with an impressive who’s -who list of names, what’s been the most memorable moment so far?
WNS: The show in Wales with the Super Furry Animals was definitely a highlight.
We’ve also just come back from doing a few shows in Europe with The Warlocks – great people and great shows.
We’ve never seen anyone dance quite like the Swiss dance.
TDOA: What are you guys listening to? Anything on heavy rotation?
WNS: There are mutual loves – Neu!, Suicide etc – but we all have differing musical tastes, all of which go into the melting pot.
TDOA: Do you guys ever feel overshadowed by your influences/comparisons? That maybe the innovation and experimentation of your sound is often overlooked in trying to say your band sounds like this or that band?
WNS: No. People will always try to understand something new by reference to something that they’re familiar with.
We think any one making their first album will wear their heart on their sleeve to some degree but our music is very much a product of our day.
We made the album that we wanted to make – it’s not going to be for everybody… it’s not meant to be.
TDOA: So what’s next for White Noise Sound? Any last words you want to leave us with?
WNS: We want to get this album and our live show in front of as many people as possible.
We’ll be touring proper through Europe early next year and, if that goes well and we’re all still talking, a second album will be ready by the end of next year.
Get the album, play it from start to finish and PLAY IT LOUD.
Cuando un disco se abre con un tema como Sunset, sabes que el álbum no te va a decepcionar. Aunque a partir de aquí White Noise Sound, el trabajo de debut de la banda galesa homónima comienza a expandirse y a divagar un tanto, el corte que lo abre es de los de quitarse el sombrero. Tremendo temazo, émulo de los mejores tiempos de The Jesus and Mary Chain (referente ineludible para cualquier buen aficionado Shoegazer): guitarras afiladas, ritmos machacones y mala leche a raudales. Lamentablemente, y como dije antes, a partir de aquí el álbum comienza a expandirse y a ratos, a divagar en círculos concéntricos, sin llegar a un destino concreto. Bueno, sí, al del Pop-Psicodélico, que se refleja en largos desarrollos instrumentales (In both, dreams and ectasies) que WNS no tiene reparos de ocultar y en los que se recrea constantemente (No place to hide, It is there for you), a veces flirteando con adornos electrónicos (Fires in the still sea). La contundencia de Sunset vuelve con Blood, otro gran tema que es junto con aquél, de lo mejor de la colección. A lo largo del disco, amén de la influencia sonora de JMC aparece también la de otros clásicos del género: Spacemen 3, Velvet Underground, Spectrum, The Warlocks o The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Buen disco, en general, que tiene algunos digamos que “lastres” sonoros que en nuestra opinión lo alejan un tanto del concepto inicial que personalmente más apreciamos en el género: la distorsión aderezada con ciertas dosis de melodía. En su producción han colaborado gentes como Cian Cyaran (Superfurry Animals) o Pete Kember (Spacemen 3).
“With the late 80s/early 90s shoegazing sound now impossibly de rigueur, this Swansea sextet have recruited Spacemen 3’s Pete Kember to help recreate the influential Rugby’s band’s sound as accurately as a reproduction artist might whack off a moody Mona Lisa. Opener Sunset’s rush of angry chords is eerily similar to Spacemen classic Revolution. Where Spacemen 3 were Walkin’ With Jesus, WNS frontman Daniel Henley can’t stop himself dropping in a reference to “me and the Devil, walkin’ side by side”. At times, it all feels so fiendishly counterfeit that you expect a visit from the sonic police, but the drones and psychedelic melodies are impeccably well done, and at times sublime. No Place to Hide conjures up a particularly translucent, opiate clam, while (In Both) Dreams and Ecstasies edges into more glacial Fripp and Eno territory. Actual originality is hard to pin down, though the Krautrocky Fire in the Still Sea introduces the not so psychedelic sound of Swansea’s seagulls” (guardian.co.uk)