Detwiije: Six is Better Than Eight (Independent, 2003)
Detwijje is a London based instrumental band. It consists of five members: Ben Levy (guitar), Al Harle (guitar), Ellie Wilson (violin), Ben Seal (bass), and Shea Hagan (drums). Six is Better than Eight is a four song ep which is about 25 minutes in length. It is a post-rock triumph that makes the listener beg for more. Seriously, I cannot wait for their up and coming full length after listening to this disc. The guitars soar, the violin soothes, and the rhythm section really reaches out of this disc and grabs you right in the gut.
“Bee” starts off the disc with peaceful, glimmering guitars and simple drum work complimented by beautiful violin. This flows into a groove and eventually explodes into weeping guitars and heavy distortion. This quiets down to emphasize the sorrowful violin amidst the bass and drums. This leads to a very quiet moment in the song that re-begins the build. The guitars once again soar and threaten to wrench your guts out. It is awesome and huge. “La Guerre Des Mondes” follows on the heals of “Bee” with an eight minute epic. It begins with lightly strummed guitars playing out the melody of the song. A shimmering guitar and drums and bass join the mix. The bass gets fuzzed out and the tempo slows a bit. Eventually, all the instruments pick up and song becomes a driving, post-rock tour de force. The guitars paint walls of sound over the driving bass and staccato violin. The track eventually peters out with beautifully weeping violin, vibrating guitar and bass.
“Six is Better Than Eight” begins with a slow tempo, ominous guitar and violin. This eventually dissipates into fuzzed out guitars and soaring violin. It certainly is a sorrowful song with the feeling of a soundtrack from something like The Village or a modern day Hitchcock movie. This build fades with the picking of the electric guitar and leads into their eight-minute track called “Waltz.” This song has what sounds like basic guitar picking and stripped down drum work with floating violin. Unlike the onslaught of “La Guerre Des Mondes,” “Waltz” is soothing and has the timing of what feels like a waltz. It’s soothing and beautiful in its patience and timing. The variations in the song are perfect and the guitars shimmer, inviting the listener to participate on so many levels. It has emotional strength, and this track leaves the reader anticipating their upcoming full-length release.
Six is Better than Eight is a power piece of instrumental, post-rock tour de force. They are able to bring emotion, musicianship, and great writing to bear on their EP. Detwiije is certainly a band to watch for and I look greatly forward to their next release, would you rather be followed by forty ducks for the rest of your life?
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