Women, 'Public Strain' (Jagjaguawr)

8
Public Strain
Critical Mass
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Label: Jagjaguwar

by Ian Cohen

Women aren't a metal band; just one whose frigid, clattering lo-fi guitar racket sounds like it was composed on metal. The fidelity hasn't improved much from the Calgary foursome's basement-recorded debut, but Public Strain consolidates the clanging drones and subtly hooky flourishes that previously existed only as separate pieces. At times, intriguing alloys manifest -- the warped prom theme "Penal Colony," the mesmerizing lattice of post-punk riffage and Spector-ish soul adorning "Eyesore." But other stretches reflect the album's snow-blind cover photo, ambling toward the inscrutable without much to connect with.

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