This is a nice swerve into heavier territory from Vermont’s Wren Kitz. The Burlington artist has often found himself enmeshed in the kind of psych-folk that would have played nice with Hush Arbors, Skygreen, and Six Organs during the boom of ’04, but with an album running with split support from Sophomore Lounge and Feeding Tube, Kitz has swerved into a feedback-fraught rock territory that’s a bit heavier. Early Worm bakes its riffs in the sun, never quite erupting into the kind of psych scorch that might emanate out of the MV & EE camp, but certainly traveling down the Golden Road for a touch. Kitz’ vocals have an aqueous float to them, lost in the waves like his folk works, but riding against a stronger tide this time around.
Early Worm soaks into the skin, an apparently easy record on the surface, tinged with a bit of sadness and sway. As it flips into the second side, though, the album takes on a bit more bite that the opening few salvos might let on. The gnarled pair “Intro (improv 1)” into album stunner “Georgie” elevate the record from a sunset melt into something that’s got a bit more aural heft. The intro tiptoes up to squelch before the 8+ minute “Georgie” lays out a quaking centerpiece for the album that’s tender and torn. The rest of the second side balances sunset and storm with a bit more improv squall and a couple of half-light closers. Kitz’ last LP for NNA was hard to pin down, but this one blossoms in the heart of the amplifier — a nice direction that I hope isn’t a one off.