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Wurld Series - What’s Growing Music Album Reviews

Wurld Series - What’s Growing Music Album Reviews
The New Zealand indie rock band’s thoughtful, witty, and brief songs pit surrealism against the malaise of workaday life.

Wurld Series seem to know how to escape millennial disaffection more than most. The Christchurch band, led by songwriter Luke Towart and producer and drummer Brian Feary, fight the encroaching threat of an optimized, internet-led existence by translating the pains of day-to-day corporate life into bizarre, nursery rhyme-like ditties. The resulting songs are pint-sized tonics to cure disillusionment, often-sub-two minute tracks that loop and lope away from everyday grind towards something surreal and energizing. On What’s Growing, their second album, Wurld Series shake off the lo-fi trappings of their early work, further exposing the wit and ingenuity of Towart’s lyricism and, in the process, distinguishing themselves as a band more thoughtful—and more pleasantly looney—than your average ’90s revivalists.

It would be tempting to brush What’s Growing’s sound as little more than Slanted & Enchanted-gone-2021: first single “Nap Gate,” which chugs along atop a dense, overdriven guitar groove, certainly paints an image of Towart and co. as obsessives of ’90s American indie rock. “Nap Gate,” though, doesn’t tell the whole story. There is something distinctly rural about What’s Growing due to its ever-present Mellotron lines that pick up a thread of pastoralism present in British indie music from ’60s and ’70s psych-folk through to the Young Marble Giants, channelling it into droning, mostly-instrumental passages like “Growing (For Now)” and “To the Recruiting Officer.” At the same time, Wurld Series are distinctly New Zealand-born, and occasionally feel of a piece with classic New Zealand pop bands like the Tall Dwarfs, most notably in the hypnotic, tabla-heavy interlude “I See.”

The familiarity of Wurld Series’ recombinant DNA is no issue when Towart’s writing is so gleeful, visual, and distinct. As a lyricist, many of his songs seem to focus on the ambient terrors of the platform economy, social media, and the spectre of endless work — topics that could be dull but are instead painted as compelling oddball vistas. On “Nap Gate,” hawkish, watchful bosses are rendered as gruesome monsters, standing by as a protagonist drowns in managerial gobbledygook: “Bog Lord will state that he’s never been slicker/What is your name and the service you deliver?/Company time, you’ve got to work at a loss.”

Later, the pensive “World Beating System” turns the dissociative fugue of social media overload into a single, elegant rhyme: “Everything broken down and digested freely/And through your eyes I’ll hear it, and through your mouth I’ll see/And through your nose I’ll taste it, and then I’ll cease to be.” On the see-sawing “Eliminator,” life is a video game that’s impossible to win, its villain constantly “living behind your eyes” no matter how far you run or high you climb. There is a surprising joy to be found in these simple subversions of the discomforts of everyday life, in the way they make such pressing, ineffable specters so small.

Occasionally, What’s Growing’s images become inscrutable—“Grey Men” is a decidedly sinister alien invasion fantasy set to one of the record’s most animated, noodling guitar lines, while pensieve finale “Eighteenth Giant Brother,” one of Towart’s most beautiful vocal performances, provides no image beyond the 18 giant siblings of its title. Still, that strangeness feels by design: What’s Growing pits the surreal and the avant-garde against the all-consuming sludge of late capitalism, providing an entirely new set of tools with which to escape it.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Wurld Series - What’s Growing Music Album Reviews Wurld Series - What’s Growing Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, March 29, 2021 Rating: 5

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