Nude With Demon is the first album from The Web Of Lies, the Glasgow duo of Neil Robinson on drums and percussion and Edwin Stevens on vocals, guitar, bass and keyboards. Having played together in Robert Sotelo’s band the pair discovered a singular connection that needed to find a creative outlet and they laid down the groundwork of the album in a “a handful of hungover early morning sessions” which were then fleshed out with some trusted collaborators (full list below).
Tracks veer between urgent/fractious and elongated/oscillating, like a mixture of coffee jitters and Valium slurry. From the former single ‘Receiver’, which opens the album, you feel you have stepped on unsteady ground. The Web of Lies form a bridge between 60’s psychedelia and modern angular noise; from on tracks like ‘The Golden Road’, which is swirling and folk-tinged, and ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’ which is a relentless psychedelic tempest to ‘The Wasp’, which is a glorious slow processional in the mould of Joy Division’s ‘New Dawn Fades’.
The band pull out great moments across all tracks, such as the guitar riff on ‘RnR Resurrection’, the driving bass on ‘Crossed Arms’, the tom-tom rolls that drive ‘RnR Resurrection’, or the sweetness of the tune on ‘Redeemer’. But when things threaten to get too pleasant the band lean into deep fried distortion, induce some feedback and get out the coarsest sandpaper money can buy. The album is totally cohesive in its sound and production but it has the feel of trying to sing a lullaby in a hurricane or putting balloons on a bed of nails. It should be called ‘Spikeadelic’ or ‘Spych’.
The Web of Lies appear to have a healthy scepticism lurking in the corners of this album; a disaffection mixed with the band casting a wry eye on life and they have the ability to translate this into sound. You can feel it through the wobble of de-tuned strings, a visceral judder that finds it’s biting point against solid drums, and although the album retains a cohesive foundation laid down by Robinson and Stevens, the fact that they have used an array of musical guests gives each song its own personality. From the opening track ‘Receiver’ to the closing track ‘Ender’, a loop is formed and if you put the album on repeat, you could happily stay a long time in the unsettling, but gripping, landscape The Web of Lies create.
The Web of Lies socials: Twitter
Artists featured on ‘Nude With Demon’:
Dan Bridgwood Hill – Violins on The Golden Road
Tim Bishop – Harmonica on Redeemer
Neil Campbell – Keyboards on Yeah Yeah Yeah
Kathryn Gray – Vocals on Receiver/RnR Resurrection/Crossed Arms
Dylan Hughes – Vocals on The Golden Road
Jessica Higgins – Vocals on The Wasp/Redeemer/Ender
Ruari Maclean – Bass on Receiver
Review by Paul F Cook