When singer Steve Sindoni amicably parted ways
with the influential Louisville, KY noise band Breather Resist in late
2005, the remaining members decided to press on with guitarist Evan
Patterson taking on lead vocal duties. However, by the time they
recorded the album, the band's sound had developed into a darker,
reverb-drenched cacophony that effectively closed the door on Breather
Resist for good, thus christening Young Widows
album, Settle Down City, was urgent, dirty, and histrionic. Patterson
was still obviously adapting to his dual roles, and the production
called for little more than a handful of mics in an empty room.
Arriving two years later, Old Wounds completes Young Widows
transformation into a top-shelf rock band firing on all cylinders.
Forging the best parts of Nirvana, The Jesus Lizard, Nick Cave, PJ
Harvey, Fugazi, and The Melvins, Old Wounds is a series of dynamic,
thoughtful tunes that will certainly push most speakers to their
breaking point. And yet, as brilliant as the songs are, the production
itself is a unique achievement.
For the record, the band
reunited with Breather Resist uber-producer (and Converge guitarist)
Kurt Ballou. Ballou had been eager to experiment with recording in
multiple environments, with the intent of capturing the definitive take
of each song for the final cut of the album. Since the band felt most
at ease playing live shows, they brought Ballou along on tour to record
all of their shows. In addition, they recorded multiple sets in their
rehearsal space, and another set at Ballou's Godcity Studios in Boston,
MA. After tediously combing through a dozen hours of recordings, they
compiled and mixed the album, at times literally splicing sections of
songs together from different sessions (and keeping the crowd noise for
good measure). Only the best takes of the strongest songs made the
cut, and the result is a bonafide classic, overflowing with the sweaty
euphoria of a great live show, and the high replay value of a perfectly
sequenced, well-produced rock record.