About a decade ago, every time I went to see a touring artist New War were the support. I don’t know how they did it, possibly they had great management, but suffice to say I saw a lot of them. What’s interesting was at the time I was unconsciously moving away from the tired clichés and well worn tropes of rock music, and whilst at the time they were big on the bluster and angst, somehow they managed to execute in a way that still felt new and more importantly interesting – with an atonal ferocity that I’d rarely heard.
So in 2018 they’ve released their second LP Coin. It’s based around a throbbing often naked bassline that nervously walks the precipice between rock and dance music. Ever present are the sneering vocals, attempting to drag proceedings into more urgent angst ridden territory. This Melbourne based quartet are also quite heavy on the synth, which at times pulls into new romantic or post punk territory. In some sense it feels like deconstructed rock music, where they’re searching for the swing, locking into the groove, and embracing the repetition. Once they fall into the steady throb anything is possible, from PIL style wailing to atonal sheets of guitar to more blissed out motorik rhythms.
This is a much more diverse record than I was expecting with the quartet embracing their inner pop. They’re still as interested in pushing the boundaries as they were a decade ago, yet now its less harsh, more palatable, moving beyond the car crash and finding inspiration in mood, in the forgotten melodies that fall between the bluster.