Melts – Maelstrom
As the saying goes, “slow and steady wins the race,” and this may well be the mantra to Dublin-based quintet Melts. Having formed in late 2017, the band have used the last five years to develop their engrossing sound which uses psych and krautrock motifs as a solid foundation for their kaleidoscopic arrangements. Maelstrom, their long-awaited debut record, is a brilliantly immersive listening experience from start to finish, and well worth the wait.
With only three of the eight multi-faceted songs on the record coming in at under 5 minutes, the consideration given to each composition is evident across the partnership between the band and producer, Daniel Fox. From the offset, an infectious frenetic energy emanates from Melts’ extraordinary musicianship; a perfect vehicle for frontman Eoin Kenny, throughout. Furthermore, within these expansive works no motif is superfluous nor does the melody ever meander aimlessly. Every element maintains momentum and effectively creates a celestial atmosphere that’s both intriguing and inviting.
The depth of Kenny’s cadence, particularly on the titular track and ‘Spectral’, bears a striking likeness to Ian Curtis and Ian McCulloch. He’s a consistently captivating presence across the LP. Notably on ‘Outlier’, where he looms atop a more sinisterly intoned arrangement, punctuated with spooky drone-like inflections before a darker synth drenched instrumentation descends.
Elsewhere, it’s impossible to not immediately gravitate towards the gorgeously spacious ‘Spectral’, an undeniable highlight.
With this masterful debut, Melts have announced themselves with an assured artistry that will no doubt take their audiences on plenty of fun excursions with each return.
Words: Zara Hedderman
Image Credeit: Gav Ovok