Shutterings – How to Drown [Bandcamp Review]

Shutterings originally existed as an intimate solo outlet for Isaiah Rolow to develop his hopeless romantic songwriting, crude beat-making, and guitar loop wizardry. Since relocating from Southern California to Asheville, NC, the project has blossomed into a collaborative quartet, replete with a mathy rhythm section, washy shoegaze guitars, and sensitive saxophone accompaniments. The addition of sympathetic musicians has really allowed for a more vivid and cathartic expression of Rolow’s fluctuating emotional landscapes, with lyrical themes revolving around co-dependent relationships, anxiety, and healing from past trauma.

How to Drown‘s primary charm lies in its delicate balance between raw pathos and instrumental complexity. Several moments of proggy bombast, psychedelic textures, and rhythmic angularity recall maximalists like The Mars Volta, yet the blunt lyricism, nasally vocals, and DIY aesthetic keep the music from ever floating too far into cerebral pretension. This record is an impassioned, personal release, where any technical indulgences or stylistic detours remain in service to the heart.

Recommended to fans of later-era Tera Melos, once they began incorporating elements of shoegaze, surf rock, and pop structures into their bizarre and colorful brand of math rock; or maybe it’d be more apt to imagine an angsty 90’s indie band like Dinosaur Jr. covering some epic prog-rock.


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