05 Jul 2022 - Thorsten
Psychedelic Rock, Vintage Rock | Heavy Psych Sounds | Release date: 01 Jul 2022 | Favorite song: Dragon's Lair
“Somewhere along the doom-folk highway“? Or rather the “Birth of post-metal”? The truth lies in the middle when talking about New Sun the new record by Ştiu Nu Ştiu, the wonderfully outlier band for all those who love Wolvennest or Årabrot, the Gun Club or GGGOLDDD. Music which is difficult to grasp but easy to fall in love with. Or to?
This Stockholm-based band with the hypnotic vocals of singer Jessica Mengarelli is back to haunt your dreams and turn them into runaway nightmares or blissful never-enders. This band develops such an undertow that it somehow creates this feeling of the head moving towards the speakers. A seldom witnessed effect as if being keen on the next chord, the next note, the next word – that needs explanation in order to rationalize it.
New Sun is Ştiu Nu Ştiu’s fourth studio-album and it shows a band fully aware of their skills and possibilities, as they have collected eight tracks with nearly 48 minutes of music channeling the spirits of some great bands that oftentimes have not seen enough exposure for all the great music they gave us. The first track ”Styx”, not named after the band but the river of the underworld in Greek mythology, opens with these very edgy and pointed guitar lines which are nothing short of post-punk magic – somewhere between X and Gun Club. The vocals set in and the band picks it all up a notch and backens the sharp and rectangular guitar parts with a hard-rocking, close to noise-rock’ish rhythm section. And the lullaby Jessica puts on us is hardly able to make us fall asleep. She seems to be channeling so many great female voices of the last decade it is hard to make out whom she sounds like most, but my guess would be a mix of Karin Park and Shazzula, who both also have this automatic hypnoticism embedded in every note they sing.
The band behind her also has the pedal to the metal when it comes to displaying their capabilities – the rhythm section, especially drummer-animal Christian Augustin, gives their all and keep the audience on the edge of their seats with every wild turn as they drive and push the songs forward. On their wild and edgy foundations, guitarists Martin Sandström and Nicklas Bargell can create their very own walls of sound sometimes huge and strong and sometimes seemingly wavey and light – whatever the song needs at that very moment. Sometimes it is even possible to recognize some of the post-rock elegance that Martin spread with his former project Jenniferever, when the light crescendos shimmer through the mix.
Something that not many people would notice when listening to New Sun is the fact that only two musicians are left from the pre-pandemic line-up, Martin and bass player Kalle Mattsson. In that way, the record’s title is pretty programmatic as this is a new sunrise for Ştiu Nu Ştiu.
Finally, one cannot leave you, our dear readers, behind without mentioning the hit that is >i>”Dragon’s Lair”</i>, the last track, and its eight minutes of musical perfection. The song opens on a pretty strong guitar line that is repeated over and over with the drums basically giving the song the necessary changes – until the guitar finally takes over and dominates the track, which Jessica sing-whispers her lines. Without us noticing the song rises and rises with more guitar lines and noise being added without the listener noticing. The track has no climax but it is the peak of the whole record with a strong solo at the very end. ”Dragon’s Lair” is a strong statement in the sense of ”Yeah, this is a new sunrise, but it’s not our sunset! We got more to say!” And man, I can’t wait for that. Or can I? Do I know if I can? Or can’t I?
PS: If you wanna know about the band name – find the one common thing in the last line.