For seventeen years China’s Wang Wen has been honing their own take on the post rock genre, and on September 30th they’ll be releasing their ninth studio album ‘Sweet Home, Go!’ via Pelagic Records. One of the biggest differences between this latest effort and their previous material is the band’s collaboration with European producers Wouter and Lode Vlaminck, giving them an outside influence to further perfect their craft. Today we’re excited to premiere the song Red Wall And Black Wall, and whether you’ve experience Wang Wen before or are just coming across the group, it’s evident that the watchful eye of the producers and the band’s desire to continue to grow has resulted in a truly captivating listen.
Spread across eight minutes, Red Wall And Black Wall showcases Wang Wen’s ability to weave an engaging narrative from beginning to end. Post rock can encompass a wide range of different styles, with slow, plodding build-ups to soaring climaxes being one of the most common. But what you’ll notice as you turn this song on is that the pacing is a bit faster, and the instrumentation builds breezier layers. There’s a bit of a spaghetti western feel to it, at times reminding me a bit of what Earth has done over their last few albums, though Wang Wen has put their own spin on it with rising and falling guitar melodies and additional instrumentation like the trumpet. I find it very interesting that out of all the post rock I’ve heard this year, the one that reminds me the most of rolling plains similar from a spaghetti western or cool fall nights, it’s from music that was written by a Chinese band. But that’s part of what makes this such an exciting listen, as the instrumental layers build naturally and allow you to weave a narrative based on your personal experience.
Red Wall And Black Wall keeps things fairly soft, though around the three quarter mark the volume does kick up a notch as the drums and guitars suddenly ramp up to the song’s fullest crescendo. At this point there’s even a bit of shoegaze present in the way that the melodies intertwine and feel like they’re wrapping you in a warm, nostalgic embrace. Some of the other pieces on ‘Sweet Home, Go!’ reach much louder, bombastic moments, but there’s something to be said about arrangements like this one where the subtle nuances shine just as brightly as the climaxes. It’s a song I’ve listened to over and over again over the past day, coming up with new narratives with each time through.
Wang Wen has had considerable success in their home country, selling out sizeable venues. But they’re a name I haven’t seen mentioned quite as much abroad, and with the continued support of Pelagic Records I hope that ‘Sweet Home, Go!’ broadens their fan base even further. Not only does the music have plenty of depth and nuances to discover, but both the CD and vinyl have extensive packaging, showcasing the band’s attention to the entire package. Check out the details of both versions via their pre-order links below, and don’t miss ‘Sweet Home, Go!’ when it releases September 30th.