Sound — 7
True Widow is a three-piece outfit from Texas comprising of Slowride's former lead vocalist Dan Phillips on guitar and vocals, Nicole Estill on bass and vocals, and Timothy Starks on drums. Their self-titled debut album carts music with a hypnotizing-edge and soft rock-bent, rod by steely prog-rock guitar effects, dark ambient-pop shadows and glazy shimmers. A bit nostalgic of My Bloody Valentine's shoegazy films, True Widow's music is a bit more than a carbon-copy of their predecessors. From the opener "AKA" until the last strands of "KR," the record is mast by slow rising lifts and ambient plait's creating a mood that has a macabre-hue but still enthralling to the senses. Drum strikes crash into the frothy guitar riffs propelling Sunday Driver into a voluminous melee, while the dark mood of Corpse Master catapults Black Sabbath-like springs and soaring riffs with a nu-metal girth. The soft melodic-rock rivulets of All You Need infuse a plush ethereal-pop voicing in the warm esthetics reflective of Electric Soft Parade, and the gently sprawled chord progressions of Mesh Mask are injected with spikes in the guitar cuts creating beams of light jetting through the numbing riffs. The low-fi effects of Bleeder have a cryptic glow encrusted with a melodrama casing, while KR is emotionally raw and garners a morbid procession of downtrodden guitar riffs and dirgy rhythmic beats. True Widow's self-titled album has a macabre ambience coned in prog-rock dynamics and shoegazy shimmers. It is like nothing you have heard before, and yet, so familiar sounding.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics sink into the music as if it was made of quicksand. The monotone register of Dan Phillips vocals become lost in the music so his words are incomprehensible. His words are drooled out and emit an opiate-downiness in his phrasing like in Flat Black, when he declares, Just don't think I can turn around. His droning is annoying, but puts the listener's focus on the music.
Overall Impression — 7
True Widow give ambient-pop a new look, one that is dark and sullen in tone and texture, yet something that is comparable to Black Sabbath's heaviness with an icing of shoegaze. Lyrics are concealed in the music and difficult to decipher, but this factor does not ruin the songs. In fact, it empowers their hold on the listener drowning the aural senses in the music's hypnotic patterns. The music seems relevant to life, relating to that part in humans that is mourning over a loss but still keeping above the raging tide. It is an album that appeals to the cerebral senses, and identifies with those emotions that feel like they are sinking into the abyss. The album has character and a tinge of melodrama that hit's everyone now and again.