Premiere: MARES – WHEREWITHAL (PSYCHIC HYSTERIA, 2018)

Words: James Frostick
Artwork: Zoe Irving

Melbourne’s Mares are on the precipice of dropping their new full-length album Wherewithal on Friday June 1. Following a strong showing with lead single ‘Aeroplane Mode’, the band will be ushering forth nine tracks of gritty post-punk lathered in an atmospheric mood. The tracks within the album showcase a sharp dichotomy between blinding light and unassailable dark, an endless conflict set within the twists and folds of the mind. We’ve been given the opportunity to share with you the first listen of the LP, which will be out imminently through Psychic Hysteria.

The mind is a dark place to explore. Plumbing the depths of ones emotions and identity offers prime fodder for creative analysis, but the act of exploring the inner self is often an exhausting process. The shit that builds and accumulates, the stuff you don’t consciously store but tuck away regardless, can often be the most confronting. In Wherewithal, Melbourne’s Mares have created an album that spans a plethora of emotions, exposing raw wounds and scars and bravely showcasing a tenderness that is at times moving and relatable. It is a product of accumulated thoughts and experiences, set to a paranoia-inducing soundtrack of thick post-punk.

If I had to get deep with it, I’d say Wherewithal is a deceptive seeper of an album. Not long after you’ve started listening, you find that sonically the record has settled into the folds of the brain, making synapses fire in unison and casting illusions of expansive landscapes in which to retreat. Much like what we experience when we do a bit of soul searching, the realm itself is both familiar and alien. Searing guitars splinter the night sky over this vastness; the bass rumble makes the ground itself tremble underfoot and on the wind one can hear the words. The vocals are carried by light gusts and forceful gales, ferrying haunting sentiments of isolation and weariness across the world Mares has conjured. The realm of Mares’ music is not without beauty – moments of tender honesty can be found between bouts of restless musing. Wherewithal contains a bounty of poetic fragments and lonely recollections worth unpacking, but what’s truly astounding is how each piece fits in connection to another. This album is lush and full and vibrant, even at its most subdued there is something gripping. A true hallmark of an album well conceived and well constructed.

The album is worth devouring in one sitting. If the above has you feeling so inclined, then you can do so below:

Wherewithal comes out on Friday June 1 through Psychic HysteriaMares will launch the album in Melbourne on Saturday June 9 with support from Ninetynine, Astral Skulls and LoVision at a secret spot in Collingwood. Email Psychic Hysteria for the details.

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