In Film Sound

Shannon Wright

Ernest Jenning Record Co., , 2013

http://www.facebook.com/shannonwrightmusic

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/09/2013

Having made a name for herself after four solo albums with the prestigious Touch & Go/Quarterstick records camp, Shannon Wright is no neophyte to the music world, though you may not be familiar with her. After over a dozen releases where she's aligned herself with some of the best noise-rock bands of this generation, Wright still refines her sound with each subsequent album. This time around she's picked up the rhythm section from indie legends Shipping News for her first release on a formal label since Touch & Go's demise, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 In Film Sound.

The lead-off track sounds like what Wright made her name on, the appropriately titled “Noise Parade.” A propulsive, jagged rock song with bristling guitar work, it harkens back to the early '90s when bands like L7 and Babes In Toyland were all the rage. “The Caustic Light” follows a similar path, creating moody soundscapes with tense rhythms, though it does start from a calmer position. While many traces of her frenetic, post-punk history certainly exist here, Wright is up to speed on gentle moments as well, creating a very interesting dichotomy on this listen. If you compared any of the first three tracks with sparse, brooding piano ballad “Bleed,” you would be hard-pressed to believe it were the same songwriter. Similarly, while the album contains plenty of thundering rock, it closes with “Mason & Hamlin,” a soothing instrumental that bares little resemblance to the track before it, “Surely, They'll Tear It Down.” The latter album highlight, a brash yet calculated alt-rock explosion late in the disc, uses quiet-versus-loud dynamics in a way that brings to mind the best moments of Billy Corgan's music.

A riveting album that showcases Wright's penchant for interesting guitar work, unorthodox use of rhythms against gentle harmony and her often mysterious and hypnotic song structure, In Film School is a fascinating balance between heavy and delicate, intricate and stripped down. Though everything Wright has been a part of has been luminous, this goes down as her best offering to date.

Rating: A-

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