Wednesday – Rat Saw God

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Artist: Wednesday
Album: Rat Saw God
Label: Dead Oceans

Release Date: April 7, 2023

Location: Asheville, North Carolina, United States

Wednesday have really nailed every aspect of the whole indie/alternative thing. Everything from the single word band name and the unusual off key vocal style to the effortless instrumental work and the lo-Fi aesthetic. It’s like they read books on what to do to create a solid record in the genre and then tick all of those boxes. But they didn’t stop there and took things one step further and decided to also nail alternative country at the same time.

The band’s sound is no simple thing to pin down. There are the more obvious influences of indie and alternative rock, two enough broad categories as it is. However, it’s the heavy infusion of shoegaze and country elements that make the album so special. These elements are worked seamlessly into the fabric of the music and even more impressively they manage to complement each other. Some songs lean more into one sound than the other and some marry the whole range of influences, ensuring that the album never feels dull for a moment.

I can safely say that Karly Hartzman is the perfect vocalist for this band, not only does she perfectly suit the music, but she elevates and amplifies its effect. There are some vocalists in this space who are simply there, accompanying the music, filling a role, filling space, but that is not the case here. Every note, every off-key wail, every voice cracking shriek hits the spot just right. There’s a real balance struck here between raw emotion in the form of pain and sadness and a strange soothing beauty. Lyrically the album covers a wide range of topics, ranging from substance abuse, relationship issues, mental health, and everything in between. Really hammers home the point on each track as she adjusts her delivery to complement each tracks theme and sound.

Instrumentally the album is just as varied, with everything from lo-Fi fuzz laden alternative guitar and heavy distortion through to clean twangy country rock style offerings. The drum work is just as varied, with everything from simplistic yet rhythmic work leading to more explosive rock focused delivery. The heavy use of key/synth and feedback really helps to develop and expand the album’s sound and develop its immersive nature.

Bull believer is easily my favorite track on the album, it has a rawness to it that feels extremely natural and not at all forced. The song slowly builds up tension as it unfolds, reaching a climax near its conclusion. The sickly soothing shoegaze style energy peels back and a raw, biting edge pierces through made up of raw shrieked wails and moans paired with distorted noise laden fuzz and feedback. The balance struck between these two extremes is stunning and shows the band’s song writing ability.

Overall, this is a fantastic release and one of my favorites in this style so far in 2023. The band showcases an impressive level of talent and potential and leaves me excited to see what comes next following what i would describe as a top quality debut.

Listen to and order the album:


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