WE- Tension and Release

From Aural Innovations #39 (May 2008)

Ok folks… prepare yourself. The new WE record has been unleashed and it is a monster. It took the band some years and some new children after Smugglers before Tension and Release could be born but here it is. WE have made a great sounding record that mixes the great aspects of Smugglers with some of the ideas the band used on the tracks on the split LP with Gas Giant thrown together with a very intense, dark and heavy guitar sound. Don Don did a masterful job in the mixing of this record. Killer sound. The CD starts off with Lotus Rising, with a dark atmosphere, before the intense guitar riffing hits you. This gives you a taste of the heavy, nasty guitars that will follow. Free Behind Bars is an intense song! That’s Why (You’re So Fine) was the single released in the summer in Norway, and despite the made for radio pop chorus it is a real hard rocking number and Don lays down a killer guitar solo at the end! For Love For Life has a very intense slide guitar and is a more spacey track like stuff on Dinosauric. Popul Vuh will remind people of Smugglers, the title track of the last album, but it is quite a different animal. This one is dark, psychedelic and has some great keyboards from Tariq. Appreciation is an 8½ minute journey with a killer (but too short) jam with Don and Tariq trading keyboard and guitar licks back and forth. This is a heavy one! Hurdy Gurdy is the most recent single and the only filler track. The track just doesn’t do anything. Post Millennium Tension Blues, one they played live in December 2006 when they opened for Motorhead, is a intense slide guitar track that just runs straight out the gates. Killer guitar by Don. Thorns is a strange little 2½ minute track with a garagy feel to it but intense in your face guitar. No End will remind you of Last Stronghold of the Freaks from the Split LP with Gas Giant or the Trip. It has that cool, stoned, spaced vibe… Freaks in the Streets (continuing the saga…??) is a cool psychedelic rock track to end this. Amazing CD. It takes some time to grow on you but it is a piece of art… The double Digipack with a DVD is cool but if you are lucky enough try to find the rare triple LP box made in only 500 copies for the Norwegian market. It features the vinyl only track (Willin’ and Able, which is the most psychedelic song on the whole record!) plus a LP size booklet with the lyrics and a large 6 album size poster of the band standing somewhere in India. Expensive but amazing!

Check out the band web site at: http://www.werock.org
Check out the record label web site at: http://www.nunmusic.com

Reviewed by Scott Heller

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