Ex-Charlottefield frontman Thomas House is back with another release as Sweet Williams. Sweet Williams is a slightly different beast to Charlottefield. It’s slower, more sinister and unsettling. Everything almost seems like it’s played at half speed. The spikey guitarwork and the just woken up growl of House are recognisably his, as are the rhythms which almost trip over themselves.
Stop It I’m Killing You opens with stabbing guitars and eery harmonised vocals. Rhythmic lurches give way to a glorious use of squealing feedback.Stunt Freeze has a sleazy, powerful groove along a simple yet punishing hook before it almost skips and stutters at slow speed towards the end. ‘Fifties’, with its Slint-like guitars and stop start dynamics, is weirdly hypnotic.
House’s almost whispered vocals, as they do throughout the record, add a creepy edge.
There is something brutalist and calculated in the structure. Despite the brutalist nature, instrumental RF offers a moment of beauty amid the darkness; a simple combination of crunching and clean chiming guitars that allow a moment of reflection. This beautiful moment gives way to the rumbling rolling bassline and pinging ride bell in ‘Very Long Division’ which features unsettling slightly slowed down vocals, guitars that add texture and colour and a locked bass groove that repeats until fade out.
The album’s first single ‘Ride A Gold Snail’ opens on a mean bass line with metronomic drums, polyrhythmic guitars that open up space, and sparse vocal lines. The guitars build to an almighty fuzz that might question whether your speakers are still working. It sounds great. ‘Rust’ startles the listener with a drum beat akin to someone banging on the wall. Its clanging, slightly dissonant guitars and double tracked vocals are minimalist and brutal, giving the feel of a dark Mount Eerie.
The spaces in between the noise are never completely silent – a light feedback drone runs throughout.
House introduces sparse piano and eerie atmospheric sounds like rusty gates opening on ‘Two Golden Sisters’. It’s bleak and spine tingling. A slow, hypnotic and contemplative song about lost love. For the most part it’s just guitars and voice. The absence of drums makes this perhaps the most intimate and affecting track on the album.
‘Facing East’ brings the most intricate and measured drum performance on the album. Ringing guitar rhythms syncopate through a repetitive phrase that builds as the guitars become more layered and effected. The album closes with ‘Discomforter’. Bending guitars are allowed to ring out to accentuate the unnerving slight dissonance they create.
A lot of the songs on ‘Where Does The Time Come From’ deal in a constant repetition from beginning to end, never coming to a resolution. Like ghosts trapped in the real world forever if they were not faded out or ended at an opportune moment.
You may enjoy this if you like:Charlottefield, Slint, The Jesus Lizard, Bonnie Prince Billy