Twine: Surfaces
Ghostly Digital

Great artists leave indelible fingerprints upon every aspect of their work. Confronted with mere seconds of screen imagery, one immediately recognizes the signature of Hitchcock, Kubrick, or Antonionio, for example. Without wishing to push the analogy too far, one has the same impression after hearing mere seconds of Twine's (Greg Malcolm and Chad Mossholder) music. Perhaps it's the foreboding atmosphere, or maybe the marriage of tremolo guitar shudders with haunted electronics—whatever, it's clearly an immediately identifiable and ethereal sound.

Though some of the EP's material (more a mini-album at 39-minutes) sounds like it could have come from the same sessions that produced the duo's self-titled 2003 album (the hypnotic dirge “They Themselves” situates a voiceover within a haunted network of dubby screeches and guitar placidity, recalling the earlier disc's “Plectrum”), it's overall darker in tone and in places more densely textured: pealing guitars in “Hope” etch ominous lines that exude a Badalamenti-styled dread while “Surfaces,” a harrowing weave of muted howls, detonative ripples, and piercing shards, might represent a new standard in nightmarish soundscaping for the duo. In addition, the dramatically deep plunge into a throbbing abyss in “Resemblance” does nothing but heighten anticipation for the upcoming Violets full-length all the more.

April 2006