Thursday, January 6, 2011

Winterun - Shadow

Independent Release

With a career that spans close to a decade, Melbourne-based stoner/heavy rock outfit Winterun have not only stood the test of time, but also managed to carve themselves an enviable niche within the underground east coast scene, and in the process have earned themselves a reputation for their live shows that seems to grow with each passing year. Having spent the better part of the last two years working on new material only heightened my expectations of Winterun’s latest effort. And after giving the band’s latest E.P. release a thorough listen, I can honestly say that I’m suitably impressed with the results. Spearheading this five track effort are three brand new tunes, with 'Tomahawk' leading the charge. Although Winterun have always been a band that flirted with the heavier end of the spectrum, 'Tomahawk' marks a whole new level of heaviness for the band in the sound sense, with Matt Taylor’s bass work sounding far more prominent in the group’s overall sound, while Nick Dunstan’s vocals seem to have taken on a bit more of an aggressive edge. Although nowhere as heavy on the gas, the title track 'Shadow' is definitely one of the E.P.’s strongest efforts with its infectious choruses and mix of guitar riffs, while the final new track '8 X 10' sits comfortably between the former two in the directional sense, with its equal measure of stoner rock and blues influences coming to the fore. It’s something new from the band, and a welcome change at that. Closing out the E.P. are reworked/re-recorded live favourites 'Sucker For Punishment' (From 2006’s 'Welcome To…') and 'Lighter' (From 2004’s 'The Full Effect'), both of which have benefited from a bigger sound, a stronger production and some inspired additional harmonica work from Catfish Voodoo’s Arron Gillet.
Overall, 'Shadow' is a rock solid little E.P. from Winterun, and a clear sign that when the band finally get around to releasing their new album, it’s sure to be a monster release.

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© Justin Donnelly