Music Reviews

Artist: the Wretch (@)
Title: Ambulatory
Format: CD
Label: Magnatune (@)
Distributor: Magnatune
Rated: *****
One thing I admire about the Wretch is the evolution of his sound--not just album to album, but track to track. Never one to stay in the same place, the Wretch’s Michael Weeks likes to keep his listeners on their toes. His new release, Ambulatory, is no exception to this. The mood and theme of each song manage to be substantially different, showing the listener a massive array of the influences and interests that helped shape this album.

On this newest release, Weeks takes his listeners on a journey through the darkened, eclectic corridors of the schizotypal mind of the Wretch. Ambulatory’s base sound is an ever-changing mixture of cold, dark drones accented by heavy, spastic beats that sometimes become so intricate and precise they almost dare the listener to call them IDM. The feeling and style of each song is diverse, yet each track manages to feel like part of the whole. Each track is a glimpse in a different facet of a singular troubled mind.

From the foreboding beginning to the somewhat creepy, but almost friendly, end; Ambulatory grabs and holds the listener’s attention, whispering distorted nothings and relentlessly assaulting the unsuspecting cochlea. As only his sophomore release under the Wretch pseudonym, Weeks has managed to reach musical standards most independent artists can only dream of. Ambulatory leaves no doubt in my mind, Michael Weeks/the Wretch is going somewhere, strap in now so you can say, "I told you so," later.

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