Review: The Wind in the Trees – A Gift of Bricks from the Sky (self-released, Feb 19)

It’s always funny when the title of an album reveals more than you’d expect. In this case, the title of A Gift of Bricks from the Sky politely informs you about how listening to it will feel, and doesn’t back down on its violent (but generous) promise for even a second. Information on this new Baltimore outfit is scarce, but I do know that Dave from The Heads Are Zeros (whose self-titled LP is a modern grind masterpiece) is involved, and all of the relentless technicality and eardrum-shredding viciousness that connection would imply is present in spades. From the cover image to the dark, unsettling atmosphere conjured by the track titles and lyrics to the music itself, A Gift of Bricks… is an angular, jagged record, pairing a satisfyingly overwhelming, chaotic production style with dizzying, ruthless rhythms and a formidable low-high pair of throat-tearing vocals. The instrumentals complement the disquieting imagery of the lyrics remarkably well, with barely-held-together machine gun blasts framing the screams of pure hatred on “They Were Sympathetic” and frightening biblical evocations bolstered by the crushing double bass gallop of “A White Light in Autumn.” Silly me for thinking the latter would be the album’s most hopeful track—that actually comes with the sublime guitar interplay coda of closer “Blinding Miscalculations,” which brings the frenzy of anger and misanthropy to a hypnotic and even beautiful end (though the lyrics do NOT agree). I don’t about you, but these are the best bricks the sky has ever gifted me.

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