EP Review: My Wooden Pillow – Uncomfortable
Posted by ChristopherMammal
Genre: All-in-one metal, hardcore & rock
Release date: 21 December 2014
Previous releases: This EP is their debut
Length: 19 minutes
Recommended to: Fans of rawkin’, rollicking, highly infectious female-fronted rock and metal across the moshing spectrum
Mammal’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
My Wooden Pillow, a new band from the UK, invited Metal State to give their debut EP a spin. I’m so glad they did. What came out of the box – or, more accurately, the Dropbox – is a lustrous pearl.
A few things about this little treasure of an EP grabbed my attention as soon as it started playing. I’ll list three of them. The first is the sheer talent of this band. The second is the extraordinary catchiness and musicality of the songs. The third, which I sense without notarised proof, is the overwhelming joy and pleasure the band experienced while writing, arranging, practising and laying down the tracks for the EP.
MWP, as the band abbreviate their name and as they will be known to millions upon millions of fans if they receive the promotion they deserve, deliver a mash-up of high-power rock and metal that gets every moveable part of the anatomy jiggling and bouncing. On me, that’s a sight to behold. “Uncomfortable” is what can happen when a new band, unfettered by the artificial boundaries of genres, cuts loose with music they want to make, not the music that a record company would want to fit neatly into a container of a prescribed size and shape for the catalogue.
One of my favourite desserts all my life has been Swiss trifle. “Uncomfortable” is like a rich trifle with dollops of extra cream and loads of extra cherries. If there is a primary style that runs through the EP, it’s melodic, supercharged thrash. Other styles rise up, loop around and over the music, then step aside for the next style. In the four songs on the EP you’ll hear death metal, NY hardcore, alternative rock, doses of speed metal and passages of the most modern hard rock.
This in no way means the music is disorganised. The band worked for years, literally, to develop its own special sound and bring together the right line-up to give vent to the compositions. Thorough planning went into the instrumentation and sequence of the tracks. The lyrical content is focused too, a set of commentaries on social issues. MWP don’t hold back in telling what’s wrong with society.
To give a better idea of what their music is, these are the influences they list: Sepultura, Motörhead, Dead Kennedys, Dead Can Dance, Walls of Jericho, Sacrilege, Skunk Anansie, Bauhaus, Arch Enemy, Coroner, Henry Rollins Band, One Minute Silence, Bad Brains, Discharge, Suicidal Tendencies, Madball, White Zombie, At the Gates, Carcass, and Bolt Thrower. Now that’s a mix of rock and metal!
In their media kit for the EP, MWP say: “We defy being pigeonholed in a certain musical genre or style for the sake of it. We admit that our sound is heavy but that’s it, the rest is all rock & roll to us.”
Michelle Adamson, lead vocalist, does both clean and dark vocals. On the dark side she has the same kind of timbre and clarity as some of my favourite female vocalists, the likes of Arch Enemy’s Angela Gossow or the pioneering Sabina Klassen of Holy Moses. When she switches to clean vocals she becomes one of those almost baby-girl voices that lend so much character to punk rock, punk metal and hardcore.
The backing is tight and disciplined, with sterling performances by Hassan Alemdar (guitars and backing vocals), Patrick McBride (bass and backing vocals) and Chris O’Rourke (drums). As a unit, MWP is as cohesive and well-drilled as many of the much more seasoned rock and metal outfits. Some of the crits I’ve read are overflowing with praise for MWP’s live performances. I’d love to be at one. Until that happens, I’ll eagerly await the band’s first full-length album, which should be available very early in 2016.
You can stream “Uncomfortable” and buy the EP on Bandcamp. The price is £1.50, although the band will love you deeply if you want to contribute more than that. In my favourite currency, which is cigarettes, the EP would cost you the equivalent of six Benson & Hedges King Size Gold cigarettes at Tesco… and “Uncomfortable” will bring you much longer-lasting pleasure and be eminently better for your health.
Make fuller acquaintance with My Wooden Pillow on their Facebook page. From my contact with the band, they’re jolly nice people and I’m sure they would like to hear from you.