Wurld Series

This record has been making its way onto the site over the past few months, but with a tack towards more complex structures, singles hardly do Wurld Series justice. The band’s last outing was a favorite around here, stewed in bath of ‘90s fuzz and driven by indie pop hooks. The band never quite played it straight, but they were predominantly picking at the scabs of the Christchurch sound as they burrowed into What’s Growing. For The Giant’s Lawn, the band still lets a bit of the old crunch onto the court, but they’re digging far deeper into their well of influences. Clouds of Anglican folk and Canturbury prog gather, especially on the winding curls of guitar smoke that emanate from Towart’s songs. The band’s trick is tying the fuzz and fancy together into an album that feels like its constantly working through cycles of growth, bloom, decay, and decline. The record refuses to sit still, but rather than feel uneven, they turn their voracious scope into a concept piece that never gets too heady or strays too slight.

Again, this is where the album trips out of the singles scene. While cuts like “Queen’s Poisoner” and “Lord of Shelves” would have easily fit the froth on What’s Growing, they hit the listener much harder book-ending the wormwood ruts of “Rearing Wesley and “Friend To Man and Traffic.” The band slingshots 3Ds’ riffs into the bog water weirdness of Gong, The Cleaners From Venus, and Caravan. The fragrant sax seep that floods out of “Alive With Flies” hardly has time to fester before the buoyant bluster of “Illustrious Plates” comes to bound around the speakers. This balance continues through the album with the band letting the weeds burrow deep into their sound, then slashing through the tangle with a sharp riff and a gleam in their eye. Even talking about it just now, it feels like it shouldn’t work on paper, but the band’s balance cuts as close to the edge as possible and works wondrously. Best power prog album of the year.

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