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TRUE WIDOW play Lee’s Palace May 3, opening for Surfer Blood and Trail of Dead. See listing. Rating: NNN
Sometimes you have to sacrifice variety to create a mood. That’s the case on True Widow’s second album, on which the Dallas trio employ a single formula: heavy doom riffs plus stoic male/female harmonies plus simple, plodding drumbeats, all delivered at a glacial pace.
The effect is monotonous, but it’s a calming, immersive monotony that pulls you into an all-encompassing “stonegaze” wash. It’s so trance-inducing that in the few instances when the album ditches this mode – like on the faster Night Witches or on the brief acoustic Interlude – the result is jarring.
It takes restraint to stick to such a slow, rigid tempo, but True Widow are masters of control. Even when Dan Phillips indulges in a guitar solo on highlight Boaz, it’s more an extension of the song’s trajectory than a break from its self-defined pace.
Top track: Boaz