There is an unexpected charm and nostalgia in the eponymous first release from The Wine, the Women and the Bomb. The five-track debut clocks in at just under twenty minutes, but in that short time the alternative rock outfit channels the likes of The Cure and Joy Division with its reminiscent blend of deathrock and contemporary alternative. This similitude is surprising because of the artful and invigorating way in which the band incorporates these familiar and decade-faded elements. With the majority of deathrock’s founders having since disbanded or in myriad other ways orphaned the genre’s macabre energy and atmosphere, to find it alive and better than ever in The Wine, the Women and the Bomb…the word refreshing comes to mind.
The self-titled release may be short, but don’t mistake its brevity for mediocrity. Beyond simple familiarity, there is an arresting power in the diversity of its five tracks.
The ominous “Halfway House” reverberates with that dread aestheticized in the gothic subgenre, frantic tempo and sirenical guitar creating an air of menace and madness, an atmosphere perfected by vocalist Ferval Drucks (aka Jamie Harvey), his performance falling somewhere between Robert Smith and a pleading madman out of the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
“Pull The Trigger” is a phenomenon walking the line between explosion and lullaby. These disparate aspects should not work in one song, and yet The Wine, the Women and the Bomb melds the two beautifully. Of particular note is Drucks’ singing here, crooning into a wild scream and then returning to his low murmur with no control lost in the process.
“Say What You Mean” and “Timebombs” present a rather different aspect of The Wine, the Women and the Bomb, each piece of the songs’ compositions coming emotionally raw and candid. Drucks sings particularly well on these tracks, displaying his capability to translate heaviness of heart through many forms of vocalization, shifting well from high notes to whispers to sepulchral lows. These two songs shine among the album’s five. They hit hard and they hit deep.
“Lithium Dreams” ends the album with a tone like a grungier Siouxsie & the Banshees, scooping the listener up in a basket of distorted bass and whirlwind vocals. The band’s sound is encapsulated well in this track, the mildly violent drumming, ringing guitar and echoing singing painting a vivid picture of incense and smoke, skeletons and cobwebs…vintage basement goth.
That’s The Wine, the Women and the Bomb. In the admittedly supersaturated sea of rock and its tentacular subgenres, The Wine, the Women and the Bomb has created something unforgettable.
The Wine, the Women and the Bomb has two albums out, 2010’s self-titled and 2011’s Virus, and can be found at http://winewomenbomb.bandcamp.com/. Vocalist Jamie Harvey also has solo material in the works, which can be found at http://www.reverbnation.com/jamieharvey.