Calgary’s own Women have returned with their second album, Public Strain. Juxtaposition is one word that comes to mind when describing Women’s style. Their sound piles a layer of atmosphere upon a layer of chaos that leaves a very eclectic album, but ultimately a conducive one.
The opening track, “Can’t you see” has Arcade Fire overtures, the squeaky, grinding guitars and violin backing up distorted, Brian Wilson-like, vocals. With atmospheric, dense sounds, it belongs on a film score.
The instrumental tracks are superior to the vocal tracks but only by an inch. They seem to take you away to another desolate, ghost like space. In some ways Women are reminiscent of Glasgow’s Mogwai. It is that same sound that can be so deceptively simple but still completely overwhelming.
With a great melody and an easy beat, “Eyesore” is one of the best tracks on the album. “Bell” is another piece that would be best served in a David Lynch film. Beautiful but just a little creepy.
Definitely an album to be played in the wee hours of the morning. But be careful kids, this one gets real dark on you.