Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Wiredrawn's melodic and atmospheric control result in a stellar EP

January 5, 2012

Multiple genres is often a huge red flag, but Wiredrawn bucks the trend. Debut EP Loose Lips Sink Ships has five great songs in four different genres. I’m not sure what Wiredrawn will turn out to be in the long run, but if these tunes are any indication, it will be very, very good.

Patrick Baird, the Scot behind Wiredrawn, keeps the EP together with a surprisingly mature melodic skill. Through the various genres of the EP, Baird makes a point to get to the melody quick. This saves alt-rocking opener “This City on Fire” from falling into the tedium that dominates much post-grunge these days and gives the pensive post-rock in “Isle of Glass” an immediacy that is rarely heard in the genre. The latter eschews the drawn-out crescendoes of much instrumental post-rock and instead places the listener in an always-morphing present. On top of being incredibly interesting, it’s poignant to boot!

That mood is another element that links these tunes together: Baird is great at calling up emotions without getting maudlin. (His deft, precise melodic touch helps with this immensely.) The songs each feel incredibly meaningful without feeling overwrought: if Scott Hutchison wasn’t a gigantic emotive smear, Frightened Rabbit’s sound would be a good equivalent. Right now it’s just the instrumentals of the two bands that are reminiscent; Baird’s patient, effective vocals take his songs in different directions than FR’s cathartic anthems.

It’s the best of both worlds when Baird applies those vocals and the post-rock expansiveness of “Isle” to the title track. “Loose Lips Sink Ships” allows for a bit more build than previously, but it never starts to feel like it’s post-rock for the sake of post-rock. It’s emotive without being manipulative, well-composed without being ostentatious and confident without being arrogant.

Throw in a decent ballad-esque acoustic track and the Guided By Voices-esque slacker-pop of “The Silver Screen” (which I previously covered), and you’ve got a great EP. The only thing holding back Wiredrawn is a clear statement of musical purpose, as this EP shows that Patrick Baird has the elements to succeed almost anywhere he goes.

Loose Lips Sink Ships is a pretty great way to start out the year in reviews: you should start your year in listening here as well. Then watch for the name in 2012.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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