Wednesday: Twin Plagues (Orindal) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, February 25th, 2024  


Twin Plagues


Sep 29, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Asheville, NC-based five-piece Wednesday are purveyors of what some have termed “Southern Shoegaze.” It’s a description that makes perfect sense on their viscerally chaotic second album Twin Plagues. On the one hand you have tracks such as the gloriously propulsive “Three Sisters” combining layers of swirling distortion punctuated by frontwoman’s Karly Hartman’s sweet plaintive vocals. At other times Wednesday dial back the noise and woozy washes of sound in favor of chiming slide guitars, which is exemplified on the likes of the beautifully bruised alt-country on “How Can You Live If You Can’t Love, How Can You If You Do.”It’s this ability to switch pace from intimate tender Americana to thundering sonic juggernauts that often owe something of a debt to My Bloody Valentine that make Twin Plagues such a compelling and at times unsettling listen. It’s not just the dynamic sonic tonal shifts that draw you in, it’s also Hartman’s ability to finds pain and beauty in the banal minutiae of everyday life. At times her lyrics seem like wispy clouds, barely formed and yet still have the power to convey an atmosphere. Whether it’s the surreal image of “the cartoon crucifixion on a ceiling beyond suffering” on the scything “Toothache” or the fading breath of a lover on the bathroom mirror on “Cody’s Only,” Hartman’s succinct lyrics pack a sizable punch.

Wednesday’s vignettes of small town life—populated by characters such as toothless chain smoker hooked up to an oxygen machine (“Gary’s”) or “a neighborhood kid with a fucked up buzzcut” (“Handsome Man”) often convey an atmosphere of creeping dread and the sense of a search for meaning in world that seems random and indifferent. The album closes with a particularity eerie version of Edie Brickell & New Bohemians’ “Ghost of a Dog,” which feels a like fitting conclusion to an album that seems to take its lead from chaos and decay, from loss and longing but also of the need to reconnect with the world. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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