Had to take a day off yesterday, due to a bit of nausea. The shifty weather patterns of wintertime Los Angeles have been causing the old allergies to kick in and out of consciousness. But I’m back this evening, even-keel and clear-headed (enough), with a moody bit of alternative shadow-rock titled “Revolving.”
This one comes from Brit-based indie outfit 2:54. It was released in 2012, and it’s the first track I heard from them. I’m not entirely sure what caught my attention back then. But listening to it today, I’m finding it holds a lot of the harmonic hallmarks that hit my sonic sweet spots.
First off, it’s rhythmically wound up, full of tempered tension, always on the verge of peaking, yet never quite crossing the line. It’s also got that atmospheric dream-pop quality, almost ethereal, yet balanced by a darker gothic shade, never quite allowing the lighter tones to peak through. And it’s almost a shoegaze riff, full of shimmering guitars, but not too shiny, propelled by one of those churning basslines with just the right push of percussive pressure.
Essentially, “Revolving” syncs with a few genres, textured with just enough palpable flavor to keep you wanting more. It’s an interesting sound, as it verges on climax, almost crossing a threshold, yet opting instead to remain rhythmically taut … albeit in a near-dreamy whisper and haze. I can imagine that sounds like a frustrating experience, given that particular description. But I find it offers the opposite effect, one more meditative and hypnotic, maybe tantric, if we want to stick with the same metaphor.
2:54 is comprised of founding sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow, who happen to hold a fondness for heavier forms of rock and metal, which might seem counter to their current airy aesthetics. In fact, 2:54’s name comes from a Melvins song, specifically a bass-change timestamped from the metal-minded grunge and sludge single “A History of Bad Men.”
Not what you’d expect after a listen to “Revolving,” or any of their other like-minded material, of which there’s the self-titled debut, as well as the 2014 follow-up “The Other I.” Perhaps that’s where the aforementioned tension comes from, even if it arrives in a more subdued form. Hard to say, but its a quality that 2:54 seems to embrace in varying degrees.
Here’s 2:54’s “Revolving.” Give it a chance to swirl and twirl in its inhibited intensity.
“Revolving” from the 2012 self-titled album “2:54.”
And it case you’re curious, here’s the Melvins’ single “A History of Bad Men” that inspired it all.
“A History of Bad Men” from the 2006 album “A Senile Animal.”