Wallpaper the Witness

Birds Go South

Caesura is loud, but not loud enough. Some bands, while positively brutal in a live setting, lose portions of their aural muscularity on disc. I suspect this happened with Wallpaper the Witness, which, although exerting a strong and defiant pull with its pulsing rhythm section and lightning shard of cascading riffs, nevertheless fails to land the final blow. No matter how many times I listen to this album and no matter how loud I have the stereo playing, it never seems loud enough. Instead, there is an omnipresent murkiness, flattening out many of these songs and leaving a kind of hook-less morass in their wake. When the band does lock together tightly, like they do on the boiling “Hammer” and the bracing “Heat Lightning,” they are positively riveting.

Although billed as a math-rock band, they display none of the overly cerebral, egg-headedness that typifies such bands. Lurking in the grooves, the shrieked lyrics and the time changes is a playfulness and sense of humor also uncharacteristic of most art-damaged, math-rock bands. Yet, Caesura is clearly a band whose next release will be absolutely bruising if they can find a decent producer to highlight their strengths and capture the intelligence and energy clearly hinted at but never fully realized on this release.


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