The compelling self-titled debut record from White Noise Sound starts off like a roiling thunderstorm before settling in to long, hypnotic lulls that offer solace amongst the gathering guitar squalls. The Swansea-based sextet brought in Cian Ciaran of Super Furry Animals and Pete Kember (aka Sonic Boom) of Spaceman 3 to help them realise their sonic objective, and while it’s easy to recognise the influence of these celebrated producers, the band has certainly crafted a path that is entirely their own. Theirs is a sound that takes the listener on a journey into the center of a stridently dynamic noise, leading them through that tempest towards the soothing, mellow moments that gratefully follow. A calm before (and after) the storms, if you will.
Lead-off track ‘Sunset’ is a complete juggernaut, simply exploding upon impact with a tempestuous guitar riff and loads of piercing feedback that has hints of both the confidence and the cadence of early Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. It eventually erupts in breathless discord at the finish, leaving everything scorched in its wake. So it’s not all that surprising that the band reigns things in a bit at the start of the epic ‘It Is There For You,’ which has hints of the spacey, psychedelic early days of the Verve. But just when they’ve lulled you into a false sense of serenity, the growing tension of the song finally explodes in a glorious release of rhythm and racket.
‘Fires In The Still Sea’ is a burning berceuse, forming a somnambulistic introduction to the simmering urgency of ‘There Is No Tomorrow.’ But the album’s figurative and literal centerpiece is ‘Blood,’ a boisterous, cocksure number that has elements of the southern swagger of the Black Angels, and its narcotic companion piece, ‘Blood (Reprise),’ which is a droning experiment of both sound and scope. It stretches on hypnotically for over eight minutes, as does the following track, ‘No Place To Hide,’ which would sound completely at home on the second side of ‘A Storm In Heaven.’
So obviously the band isn’t afraid to stretch things out and indulge their vibrant sonic aspirations, and while at times the album suffers from a placid sense of lethargy, the more pensive moments certainly create a mood and a palpable ambience. And you’ve got to give these guys credit for having the audacity to put four songs on their debut that each extend over six minutes. And while their edgier numbers which have a forceful, unsettled element to them resonate a bit stronger in the end, White Noise Sound are truly architects of both tone and temper, crafting a hazy sonic wonderland that is just as easy to get lost in as it is to get swept away by.