I received a welcome message from my good pal Michael Smyth (Virgins / Old Crow Promotions) to tell me about a new EP from a band he’s promoting. What do you know, it’s Coleraine based power gazers WOHN, who, observant readers will remember, I covered last year. Well, they’re back with their Fire Smoke Ashes EP and I couldn’t be more excited to be premiering it on Static Sounds Club.
The band, featuring John Wisener (Singer. Guitar), Matthew McVicker (Lead Guitar), Dylan Norton (Drums) and Reece Gordon (Bass) take influence from the jagged beauty of the surroundings in their Northern Ireland home. Here’s how Michael describes their sound.
“This juxtaposition of elements runs throughout their debut EP, often pairing flannel-soaked distortion against jangle indie pop or a gently strummed progression against a wall of gazey fuzz. It’s this witches brew that gives Wohn their own voice and scream, making them one of Northern Irelands most exciting up and coming bands.”
I couldn’t agree more! There’s something about this band that caught my ear right away.
That started when I heard opening track ‘No Shelter’. This track heads in a post punk direction with its angular guitar attack against almost spoken word vocals in the verses. The chorus simply takes off heavenwards. Soaring guitars lift Wisener’s powerful vocal delivery. His emotive screams in the closing section really make you sit up and take notice.
‘Honey Bubba’ is a different kettle of fish altogether. It blends the Celtic syncopation between bass and drums of a band like Big Country with the propulsive dynamic of Nirvana. It’s a strange mix of styles which on paper shouldn’t work, but it does, my god it does. Norton’s drums are incredible and tie this song together, the constant thread. This allows the guitars to work their magic, often spinning on a dime to morph into the next section.
We close out the EP with the hazy, lazy title track. This song conjures up that post party, smoky atmosphere. The suns first rays creeping through the curtains as you replay the previous night in your head. It’s a wonderfully emotive track, never rushing, everything taking its time and finding a place in the mix. Guitars swing from sparse strumming to blasting out the fuzz. Drums rolling, constantly driving the song forward. Bass dancing, picking up the dusty end. It’s a perfect closing track and wraps up this EP nicely.
This EP has been a wonderful surprise. WOHN showcase the extent of their ambition across these three songs. From a wall of fuzzy sound to the delicately picked sounds of the title track the band adopt a chameleon approach to their music. They are wise enough to know that the music serves the song and deliver on this each time.
You can grab a copy of the EP over on Bandcamp now.
You can follow WOHN on social media here…