The Window Right – Live Review

02/07/2010

By Joss Worthington


I’ve been intrigued by this West Yorkshire based bunch of sonic expressionists for some time now.  To the uninitiated, The Window Right play instrumental music.

Some might call that Post Rock or Krautrock; some might call it Ambient or Shoegaze. Whatever it is, The Window Right are bloody good at it.

Having recently performed live with former Can vocalist and Krautrock legend Damo Suzuki, tonight sees the trio ditch the free jams and freak out vocals for a more focused and typically atmospheric set.

Opening with the dark feedback drones of ‘Bow Song,’ The Window Right introduce us tensely to their expansive sound. Spaced out guitar, bass and drums combine with additional backing loops, drones and noises to create a sound which looms ominously and constantly threatens to become huge.

I hear elements of Explosions in the Sky, Thurston Moore and early Nick Mcabe (pre Ashcroft messiah complex era) in Matt Littlewoods guitar playing. The bass and drums underpin Littlewood’s guitar with pensive restraint, grooving hypnotically underneath, echoing Post Rock pioneers Tortoise.

The songs can take a while to build but can then deconstruct in an instant. It keeps the listener constantly on their toes. There is a resistance to take each song to the obligatory epic proportions as so many bands of their ilk have done before them. Song boundaries are blurred and mesh into one another through a haze of ambient noise and off kilter drones.

This is just as well really, as without a vocalist or obvious frontman we are spared the traditional small talk banter between songs. Bass guitarist Anthony Smith does make some effort though, albeit rather shyly, announcing the names of the last two songs ‘113’ and ‘Ohnetitel’ which flow into one another seamlessly.

The latter does eventually build to epic proportions, but by this stage in the set you feel that the timing is right. Littlewood who appears to becoming increasingly lost in the music pushes his guitar against his amp for a desired feedback crescendo.

Seemingly pleased with the results he pushes again and again for more. The pushes then become harder and more frequent and then somewhat bizarrely frenzied. I feel like I’m witnessing some kind of violent assault on amplification.

The rhythm section pulse along underneath seemingly oblivious whilst the freak out continues. It’s quite a compelling display of visceral raw emotion and just as you think he’s going to go Townsend and smash the guitar to bits, the good angels have a word and he opts to abruptly drop the guitar to the floor and walk off instead.

I was beginning to think the Post Whatever Rock genre was a dead duck. The Window Right make me think otherwise.




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