A lot can be said for music which creates a certain feeling or atmosphere to it. By building up a certain emotion or feeling, it can fully immerse the listener into the experience, and develop an instant connection between audience and artist. When a band is described as darkgaze or shoegaze, it will automatically conjure up a sense of big fuzzed guitars all layered and looped in a haze of distortion – the musical equivalent of a warm embrace.
This is what acts as the baseline for Give Up To Failure‘s Burden. The album is dark and brooding, but not in a melodramatic gothic sense. The five piece use the darker textures of the shoegaze sound to bring out a thick and full sound, something which at times is beautiful and others pummelling. They’re also willing to expose themselves by having wide stretching soundscapes, with very simple instrumentation, but being executed perfectly to set the tone. A shining example of this is on the track ‘Sleepless Hole’ where the track takes a break to hear a single repetitive piano note being built up to a massive crescendo.
The band from Wrocław, Poland also limit their use of vocals throughout the record, adding to its restrained aura. When they finally arrive, they lift the song without distracting from the underlying instrumentation. On ‘Holy Drug’ the vocal track is almost buried underneath the wave of guitars, but it just amplifies the sound the band is creating and gives the quintet a fuller, more rounded sound.
All this being said, Burden is a record that you most certainly need to sit down with and digest; it is not something that you can give a casual listen. And the more times you hear it, the more you appreciate the intricacies of the guitar playing, the significance of the drum beats and the added elements that piano and synthesizer bring to their sound.
Yes this is a “dark and brooding” album, but that is not the main thing you take away from this record. You come away wanting to dig deeper and plunge into the dark world Give Up To Failure have created.
Burden is out now and can be purchased here.
Words: Tim Birkbeck