WORRIEDABOUTSATAN- ‘Even Temper’
Worriedaboutsatan looked like they had run out of steam. Oh, everything they recorded was great, and from post-rock beginnings to IDM-influenced debut album, their evolution was steady and satisfying. But all was not well in the world of Gavin Miller and Tom Ragsdale. Just as Pitchfork said they had arrived, the Manchester-based duo put their project to bed. And when they embarked on a new one it appeared they might have fallen out of love with Worriedaboutsatan before anybody else even had the chance to think about it.
Perhaps distance truly does make the heart grow fonder though. Because first there was a single, the electric resonance of ‘I’m Not’ suggesting a slight return, and now, finally, the hiatus has been fully shrugged off and album number two is here. And ‘Even Temper’ picks up perfectly where Worriedaboutsatan came to a stop. There are minimalist whispers, bubbling bass notes, clever clicks and brilliant beeps within, all echoes of that promising debut. In fact, a careless listen could even make it seem like the music here is too familiar, too easy to box up and forget. Dismiss this at your peril though; ‘Even Temper’ is a goddamn onion.
There are layers in just the first minute of magnetic opener ‘I’m Not Much, But I’m All I Have’. It starts as a slow-build hazy hug, the sound of sunrise, before sombre piano and a ghostly choir effect turn it into something darker, menacing even. It could be twice as long and still equally compelling. And if ‘MV Joyita’ is the most “normal” Worriedaboutsatan have ever sounded, ‘All Safe, All Well’ is a spacey trip into a post-everything spirit world. Then there’s the vinyl crackle and creepy-crawly John Carpenter vibes of ‘Sleep of the Foolish’, the powerful pulse of ‘Baychimo’- a deconstructed ‘You Got The Love’– and the tribal squall of ‘Jaki’. Ear candy is in abundance. But nothing here is glitter, nothing is baubles. Everything is gold.
There are twisting shapes and shifting shadows, cracks of light and hidden depths, familiar noise and new crystal sounds that roll to the surface with every repeat listen. Seriously, loop ‘Even Temper’ through headphones and it will reward you over and over and over again. In today’s hyperspeed music industry six years might feel like forever but this is a smart, satisfying, fantastically genreless album, and oh so worth the wait.