rooklyn-based outfit Wetware (Roxy Farman and Matt Morandi) return with the intense follow-up album to 2018’s Automatic Drawing, an electronic dirge, simply titled: Flail. Formed in 2015 and known for their odd and unpredictable live performances, Wetware’s new album captures this disorienting confusion in a series of definitive documents that encompass a concentrated, noisier sound that pushes and pulls against electronic textures and frenetic vocals, creating a palate of wild, unhinged sonic collages.
Presented across eleven new tracks in a tightly wrapped and smartly delivered album, Flail is exemplary of Wetware’s dynamics and prowess.
The 42 seconds of “Car Dancer,” act as a trailer for tension, setting up the episodic blast of “Kismet,” challenging the listener to find a wall to grab. Lead single “Exaggerated Bliss” pulsates before spinning unexpectedly into a chilling spoken narrative. Bitterly terse storytelling follows the staccato map of emotion, and as sparse as “Divided In Halves” is, “Rivalries Regulars” immediately answers with a dense oration that features Farman cursing “I know the reason for it” in stoic repetition, agnostic of rhythm yet in sync with mania.
“Shiny Face” furthers the band’s ability to create space with sound, using drone layering and drilling vocals before locking into meditation. Frequency becomes potency, as the track traverses speed, rhythm, and dire sparsity. Ending with the atmospheric jaunt, “Horse Pistol,” Flail draws from the dearth of clarity that informed No Wave and early-Industrial music through a modern lens offering no deft solutions, allowing the album to circle infinitely in the fading present, fostering a window into modern paranoia.