Track by track through The Ice Storm
As we announced another #AlbumWritingClub coming this May, Lights And Lines Label Manager, Mike Five, takes us track by track through last years winner of the Best Album - The Ice Storm by We Walk The Earth.
Written live while listening why not hit play yourself and see if it makes a good companion to the album!
Listen / buy HERE.
The silky slide guitars that open up A Beginning set the scene for what will quickly become an exciting and emotional journey through music. The bright pianos in this one really add depth and a bit of drama. Great way to start an album!
The Ice Storm's first single I Am Hollow kicks in with full on crunch guitars and a deep bass sound. This is soon by WWTE's slightly distorted vocal that has a little bit of a Jack White meets BRMC vibe going on. As the track reaches it's crescendo the harmonica, lead guitar parts, and Saxophone parts all overlap each other creating a wall of sound and melody that's simply a joy to listen to!
Sirius combines a more upbeat tempo with a melancholic indie vibe layered with hints of blues guitar. The whispered backing vocals that come in on the chorus add depth and purpose to this already beautiful tune. The whole track has a wonderful 90s vibe without being contrite or sounding unoriginal.
Title track The Ice Storm is an altogether darker more mysterious affair, lead by a wandering piano lick and a spaced out series of bendy guitar chords this is a song full of atmosphere and layers. Actually layers is a word I've used a lot already - on reflection that is a real theme across this album.
Paris, Springtime brings the tempo up again with a driving melodic lead guitar lick sitting over a series of carefully thought out 7th (maybe!?) chords. WWTEs vocal is clean and crisp again here, vulnerable but confident at the same time. It's quite proggy in many ways this one, definitely one of my favourites.
The guitars across the right and left ear in Emotion Assassin play with all sense of perspective if you listen to this album with earphones on. The way they work separately and yet somehow together at the same time takes you fully into the zone of this track. Close your eyes and enjoy! More BRMC vibes for me (one of my favourite bands ever by the way).
You Are Not Made Of Things brings us back down to beautiful squeaky stringed acoustics and a lead lick that reminds me of some of the slower Iron Maiden tunes. The guitars are beautifully executed on this track. The piano switches across between melody and the bass adding more drama. Coming back to the word 'layers' again this is really prominent here and it works brilliantly!
In Orion, The Hunter we kick things off with another driving guitar riff that reminds me a little of REM with a little Neil Young thrown in. As everything opens up in the chorus you start to feel more like you're at a very mellowed our Black Crowes concert. The musicianship here is excellent, Worth pointing out the very considered driving drum beat that bring everything together in this one.
Testing Times has a bit of an Americana feel combining slide guitars and gospel organs with acoustic guitars and big open chord changes. I mentioned Neil Young earlier and at the time I was thinking more of Ragged Glory era, this one definitely brings a bit more of the classic Harvest Moon era Young into the fold.
I can't believe we're already at the final track, Calsonic Skyline. I love this album, it's one I always have to play twice in a row when I listen back because there's so much to admire! This track feels like a film score, the perfect swirling outro bringing together elements of all of the wonderful and weird effects heard in the distance on other songs and putting them front and centre for a powerful and dramatic ending.
If you don't own this album I seriously believe you are missing out on something great. Go grab your copy HERE.