Iroha – The City I Live In (Avalanche Records)
Out 15th December
Birmingham’s Shoegazing Metal Tinged Iroha release a new EP, another slice of heavy beauty from the band, Louder Than War’s Adrian Bloxham has been listening
The best way to listen to Andy Swan’s blissed out shoe gazing Iroha is at the highest volume you can manage before your eardrums crumble and the blood flows out of your eyeballs. They aren’t what you could call noise music but nevertheless they need to be so loud it hurts. Their new EP is another choice slice of massive sound, heavy but delicate and beautiful.
The title song is about Birmingham, about the place you live and will stay in, wanting to break away but also loving and being part of it. It’s all slow dynamic, whispered vocal and building soundscapes. A guitar pattern drenched in long slow chords, fading out in the middle to come back as loud with the guitar chugging to start up.
The Road Not Taken is harder, the guitars clash like a tide crashing against a grey cement seawall. The quieter interludes only build the sound more. Heavy as hell but fragile inside.
The remixes of the title track are both very different. AMANTRA take the melody and play it out with electronic pulses and washes underneath. The vocals are reduced to an almost childlike singing with ghostly whispers running up and down the sound. The Sulcus Industries ‘Twinned With’ Rebuild starts with the sound of industry, factories and industrial sounds underneath which a chugging guitar riff rises slowly to the surface. The guitar dominates the sound with a repetitive mass of sound. Which gives way slowly to a small melody and the whispered vocal. A beat, funky and shuffling kicks into play and the track is transformed again. Eleven minutes plus of excellence.
Iroha deliver another slice of barely repressed heaviness cocooned in a fragile crystal cage.
All words by Adrian Bloxham, you can read more by Adrian at his author’s archive here.