Album Review: Adwaith – 'Melyn'
Taking influence from Siouxsie and the Banshees The Scream and PiL’s Metal Box, Adwaith have created a fragile, desolate and beautiful atmosphere with their debut album, Melyn.
Melyn opens with an intro track based around a classic post punk bass line, fuzzy guitars and howling vocals. It’s followed by ‘Lipstic Coch’ that begins with a bass synth sound and a clean guitar riff that is Talking Heads-esque. These two tracks set the tone for the album. ‘Newid’ is energetic and driving with a heartfelt and poetic chorus. However, ‘Y Diweddaraf’ is contrasts to the rest of the album as it contains a moody garage punk riff that Jack White would be proud of.
Melyn is an album for fans of Manic Street Preachers, as Adwaith have created a body of work that captures the moods of Rewind the Film and Futurology. ‘Diafol’ is futuristic and contains one of the few English spoken lines: ‘Jesus won’t let me into heaven, it’s back to the drawing board’. This track could have been written for Futurology. Plus, the best track by far, ‘Gartref’, has been remixed by the Manics own James Dean Bradfield. ‘Gartref’ doesn’t scream or shout. Its intensity lies in its beauty. It holds back on fuzzy guitars and crashing drums, instead making the most of sparse clean guitars and a simple drum beat. The dynamics make the song and compliment the vocals and guitar melodies perfectly. It has laid back yet powerful effect that is similar to Kurt Vile’s ‘Puppet to the Man’.
However, Melyn also has a Skeleton Tree vibe, particularly in ‘Fel i Fod’. It’s slower, ballad-like, with a lovely vocal hook and delay soaked fuzzy guitar melodies. And the band are obvious fans of The Cure as ‘Colli Golwg’ could have easily been placed on Disintegration.
Each track flows beautifully into one another, which is aided by the short and interlude tracks such as ‘Yn fy Mhen’, which sounds like a more demonic and dystopian snippet off Tom Waits’ Mule Variations, and ‘Cariad Cytser’.
Adwaith may very well be the future of Welsh music. They sing in their native tongue but, this own’t be a problem for fans who don’t speak the Welsh language – Melyn great album and people of all languages will enjoy this album. It’s post punk inspired, indie electric folk that appeals to all ears. Therefore, Adwith may not be the future of Welsh music, but the future of music in general.
Words by Matthew Brocklehurst