Saturday 29 January 2022

Cloakroom - Dissolution Wave (Album Review)

Release Date: January 28h 2022. Record Label: Relapse Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Caterwaul - Tracklisting

1.Lost Meaning 04:31

2.Dissolution Wave 05:26

3.A Force At Play 03:44

4.Dottie-back Thrush 04:37

5.Fear of Being Fixed 03:45

6.Lambspring 05:20

7.Doubts 03:59

8.Dissembler 05:50


Stoner/Alternative/Shoegaze trio Cloakroom celebrate their tenth anniversary as a band by releasing their new album Dissolution Wave. A record that sees the band reaching new creative highs that they brilliantly set on their wonderful debut album Further Out. Their second album Time Well dialed the heavy grooves all the way back for a more reflective and quieter album. However, Cloakroom have managed to find the right balance of their heavy debut album and the subdued sounds of their second release on this wonderfully Stoner-Gaze based album.

The record lies in the same world of TORCHE, HUM and NOTHING with it’s off-beat style of heavy sludgy distorted sounds. This album has been described as a “space western” by the band and has a lot more fantastical elements that I didn’t expect. The music is more “Space Rock” influenced which you can hear on the excellent opening song Lost Meaning. A song that explores the aspects of experimental driven Stoner Rock, Alt Rock, Noise Rock and that epic sounding Shoegaze groove that holds everything together. The vocals and lyrics remind me of HUM but still allowing Cloakroom to do their own thing. 

Second song Dissolution Wave starts off very melancholic but the heavy thumping bass and gorgeous sounding synths bring an ethereal layer of heaviness. The intelling and slow paced drumming is distracting for all the right reasons and becomes one of the best parts of the song. The music is quite slow-paced but with genuine purpose. The gloomier elements of the song start to really stand-out before the lush psychedelic and spaced out musical arrangements become heavier for one of the best songs of the record. 

Third song A Force At Play is a more of a straight-forward Alt Rock/Pop song that is quite sweet natured with the vocals and lyrics held on the song. The music is very nineties sounding but there’s a dark sensibility to it all. This is a nice song to get away from the heavy sounds on the record and shows a lovely creative side to Cloakroom. There are some epic pounding drum beats that stay on the right side of Stoner Rock towards the end of the song that even have a fantastic “Amplifier Distortion Worship” aspect to them.

Fourth song Dottie Back-Thrush returns to the heavy Stoner/Grunge style of grooves for Cloakroom for another one of the standout tracks on the album. Pure shoegaze through and through with those sweet based vocals kicking in and telling another excellent lyric adventure. The music is the real star here though with Cloakroom excelling building levels of almost STADIUM ROCK based Stoner-gaze riffs that stay low and slow then DISTORTED AND LOUD. The psychedelic parts soon become the dominant force before Cloakroom opt for a Post-Rock narrative with first rate results.

The remaining four songs on the album are equally as good as the first half if not better with Lambspring and Dissembler being the heaviest tracks on the entire album. Cloakroom play around with mood and movement on this part of the album with songs ending suddenly or changing musical shifts that you might not expect or fully agree with.

The production on Dissolution Wave is wonderful and gives Cloakroom a more human and organic feel compared to their previous records. This album has quickly become my favourite album of this hugely talented outfit. It’s a bold, daring and adventurous release from one of the best bands within the whole Stoner-Gaze movement. 

Dissolution Wave is a brilliant and must have release and perhaps a potential Album Of The Year Contender. Check out now.

Words by Steve Howe


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