The Unkindness Of Ravens ‘Virus’ – album review

The Unkindness Of Ravens – Virus (Sonic Fire)
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The Unkindness Of Ravens are Nina Wagner (vox) and Ben Raine (bass & box) & they combine garage rock beats with more dance infused noises. They’ve just released their debut album which Joe Whyte reviews below.

Despite the rather unwieldy name, TUOR deal is a very compact, hypnotic electro/rock hybrid of a band.

Opening track Viper features Nina Wagner’s sultry death ray vocals over Ben Raine’s fuzztone bass and a sparse drum machine backing. There’s a hint of Suicide’s pulsing, propulsive grooves amongst the industrial carnage.This is not a band that sounds like it takes prisoners.

One can imagine TUOR laying waste to an intimate club venue as well as turning heads at a festival.

Prototype continues the punishing journey with Wagner’s double tracked harmonies softening the intense, almost psychedelic drone-rock behind her.

Single release,You Should Know By Now (Stream above) has something of The Sisters Of Mercy’s heart-starting defibrilation to it. Velvets style guitar replaces the typical bass-driven backing and is all the better for it.

The album has a hint of “side 1, side 2” about it (not a bad thing for us old vinyl-philes) and the second half has a genuinely softer,more reflective sheen to it.

Das Gift reminds me of US 90’s might-have-beens Drugstore in its gentle, lilting yearning. Wagner’s vocals have an other-worldy, aged tinge and the whiskey-soaked lyrics of revenge and want are haunting at times.

White Road is the show-stopper for me. Another song of longing, mistakes and mystery, it positively drips with regret.

Sometimes they sound like two different bands. The bass-driven dance floor monster versus the softer, gentler balladeers.

If anything, this debut album hints that we may have a duo of incredible promise still searching for their identity, and all the better for it.

They’ve made a superb start on their own journey. With a bit of luck, this could be the start of something wonderful
I for one, hope to join them on the White Road. You should too.

The album can be streamed in full & downloaded from The Unkindness Of Ravens Bandcamp page here.

All words Joe Whyte. More by Joe can be found here.


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