1. Dumbstruck & Floodlit
This week has turned out to be pretty incredible for me (in writing terms anyway). When choosing today's review I decided to try and keep the focus on music that excites and motivates. I didn't want to write about any old extreme metal record. This is where Manchester's Pijn comes in, as their experimental and ambient music expands upon the musical climate of a city that's already proved it can lead the way in UK alternative/heavy music. "Floodlit" was released in late January by Holy Roar Records and to prove how wide reaching Pijn's music is, they've recently played alongside The Body and are playing ArcTanGent in August alongside the likes the Converge, Boris and Explosions In The Sky.
The orchestral cinematic opening to Dumbstruck & Floodlit is both beautiful and slightly foreboding, which describes Pijn’s music pretty well. Experimentation and progression go hand in hand with heavier undertones. Off-kilter drumming and feedback-laden guitar work are present, alongside more dramatic strings and hushed, sparse vocals during the it’s first half. They switch on a dime though and hit a more caustic stride, with roars and more traditional heaviness later on. It all ends with ear-splitting woodwind and ever-fusing noise. The grandiosity of the opener is followed by Hazel, which takes the form of a short instrumental piece making use of piano and guitar. It sounds very improvised and has a subtle hint of Ennio Morricone’s Western soundscapes. Cassandra is made up of guitar-driven ambience and feedback. Fourth and final song Lacquer contains elements of hardcore but it never becomes overpowering. It’s a stunning piece of music that winds its way through nearly seven-and-a-half-minutes. Calming tones replace the dissonance and it almost becomes mesmeric at times. Short as this EP may be, it’s still enjoyable and very much approachable. Here’s hoping that Pijn is the catalyst for another wave of noisy sounds from Manchester.
You can stream "Floodlit" below:-
It's available to purchase digitally and on was via Holy Roar Records above and you can also sign up to their subscription club there as well.
Pijn - https://www.facebook.com/greatpijn/
Holy Roar Records - https://www.facebook.com/holyroarrecords/