The second album from Swansea psychonauts White Noise Sound kicks off with the classic ‘Heavy Echo’, a hypnotic web of psych, trance and melodic rock. The beat is relentless, the drones induce a sense of conscious trance, while the vocals sound like they were recorded under anaesthetic. Ride, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Berlin-era Bowie all come to mind but there’s more to WNS than the sum of their influences. While you’ll find a satisfying amount of shoegazing wall-of-sound, the eight tracks here have huge variety, helmed by producer/DJ Phil Kiernan and Cian Ciaran of Super Furry Animals (the band worked with Pete Kember on the 2010 debut album). ‘Feel It’ is a squiggly electronic techno groove, which starts as a dance track and then gets increasingly mashed; ‘All You Need’ is floaty and ethereal, a deep space transmission full of heart; ‘Step Into The Light’ opens softly but rapidly becomes a huge Spaceman 3-style epic lashed by waves of keyboards and heralded with synthetic trumpet blasts; and ‘Red Light’ is a powerfully rhythmic angry beehive of sound, with melody and groove wrapped within a psychedelic shell.
Why they’re called White Noise Sound, when their music is so much more, is a mystery; but this is a band who give you more than you’d expect, effortlessly employing melody, groove and trippy experimentation to create a woozy doozy of a second release. Mesmerising.