:: Painted Zeros - Polar Night ::
I was lucky enough to catch Painted Zeros play a set as a part of 1.21 Gigawatts Festival just this past weekend. Not even two songs into the set and I knew I was watching what would end up being one of the highlights of the day for me. Regrettably, I didn’t pick up a tape before I left for the night but the following day I grabbed a download of the S V A L B A R D EP and it’s been on heavy rotation since.
Polar Night, S V A L B A R D's second track, hits every sweet spot for me. The song quickly fades in and then kicks off with explosive percussion. Katie's guitar work is engaging, not just loud for loudness' sake. There's an edge and harshness in the guitars that seamlessly shifts into otherworldly picking patterns. All of this really stems from the fact that Katie Lau is just a fantastic songwriter. The melodies and chord progressions in this song, and while we're at it the EP in general, are so intelligently written it's hard to ignore them.
The biggest key to this song, however, is its intensity. Nothing here holds back and it really sells the track. Katie delivers every line with passion and aggression and when she spits lines like, “a will to survive fighting a death drive. it’s okay, it’s alright," life feels worth living again. All of this is raging under a thick layer of fuzz and noise as if every element on this track is fighting for attention. It’s rough around the edges but that’s hardly a complaint. It feels necessary at this point.
Black Bell records released S V A L B A R D on tape and you can grab that right here. You can also download the EP for free through the link below.