One of the major draws of being an instrumental artist must surely be the absence of the lyric writing process, not having to deal with that tedious mock-poetry way of having to find lines to fit within your song that don’t sound ridiculous. the problem remains, however, that you still have to find a name for your songs, and so the trap of heavily misjudging your own sounds still exists – and it’s one that San Francisco’s Kwajbasket happily falls into. Songs with titles like ‘Edge of the Abyss’, ‘Cluttered Mind’ and ‘Insomnia’ immediately bring to mind the plethora of American metal band that seemed to exist only through their barrage of MySpace friend requests back in 2005.
As tempting as it is to judge an act on their aesthetic alone, there are rewards for dipping below the surface. Despite the names, these efforts are more likely to be naval gazing than headbanging, the work heavily affected by drone and the witch house movement more than anything else. In fact, the closest thing for comparison with the majority of Kwajbasket’s new EP is that slowed down, Justin Bieber track that was doing the rounds towards the back end of last year. These are that creep up on you, never going in for the killer blow. His choice of names might be off the mark, but thankfully the songcraft isn’t – atmospheric doesn’t tell the half of it.