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Forth Wanderers - Forth Wanderers

Forth Wanderers – Forth Wanderers

Forth Wanderers return with the release of their second, self-titled, record. Following their 2016 debut, Tough Love, the band have continuously shrouded themselves in mystery and are proving to become more and more interesting the more you learn about them. Having been a group for over five years now, the New Jersey five-piece have had quite the journey, picking up support from the likes of Lorde, then heading off to college which meant that the majority of this record was made via email. Knowing this, when you hear the end result, it’s certainly… surprising.

As soon as we step into the record, its pastel garage rock feel sweeps over opening track ‘Nevermine’. The track sends us deep into the mindset of a breakup mentality, whereby vocalist Ava Trilling uses her simply mesmerising tones to inject the perfect level of unsympathetic cynicism into the song. As the instrumentals grow, they bring with it a simultaneous wave of fresh optimism in the form of a bouncy guitar and steady pacing, only to be brought back into reality by Ava’s nihilistic lyricism. A terrific start which has definitely got the ball rolling in the right direction.

As we digress further into the album, Ava’s voice is continuously able to create the perfect blend of softness mixed with the harsh crunch of heavy distortion which certainly makes Forth Wanderers stand out from your typical DIY group. Tracks such as ‘Taste’ maintain the engaging imagery of disillusioned teenage adolescence, whilst others such as ‘Be My Baby’ create a far more blissful and psychedelic feel, the band exchanging the fuzziness of their electric guitars for a clean acoustic sound.

This notion of generating a relatable DIY sound is certainly a trait which Forth Wanderers have mastered, with almost every track on the record sending you on its own respective journey, which you are truly in the centre of. This being said, the sound is certainly something which many will either come to love or hate. On the one hand, the album blends fantastically, creating a seamless cover to cover listen which shifts you gracefully through the melancholic journey of Ava’s mind. On the other hand, there are times where the general repetitiveness can feel somewhat droll and underwhelming compared to the biggest hitting record of the year. However, these moments are few and far between and on the whole the band reinforce their sound through some brilliant use of guitar licks or incredible drum patterns.

A personal favourite comes in the form of ‘Saunter’, blending the grungy sound which keeps the band feeling authentic through the clean crispness of Ava’s shifting tones and lazy guitar riffs, generating a listen which encapsulates an almost drowsy feel that you can’t help bounce along to. This track, like all the others, makes me feel that the Forth Wanderers’ sound is one which you can imagine becoming even more satisfying when played live.

The band are eager to call their sound ‘weirdo guitar pop’ and they couldn’t have really hit the nail on the head much better. The Forth Wanderers sound certainly isn’t one for everyone, instead it’s for the eccentric mavericks who are out there seeking something authentic, and in this respect, Forth Wanderers excel at what they do. Considering the majority of this album was made through the power of the internet, it’s incredible that the band have been able to cover it with the grit of reality which will certainly draw many in, whilst still mixing it with the fuzzy haze of classic garage rock and roll. Over the past five years Forth Wanderers have managed to build themselves a dedicated following and certainly show the potential for a band who bring a fresh sound to such an oversaturated scene. Whilst not an album which has reinvented music, Forth Wanderers has certainly given us something to think about, it’s a fantastic reintroduction to a band who surely have a great deal more to give.

Ben Walker

Facebook: facebook.com/forthwanderers
Twitter: twitter.com/forth_wanderers

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