The Wind In The Trees Drops A gift of bricks from the sky On Your Head
Let these bricks drop on your skull piece, just this one time.
It’s rare in this day and age to hear an album and have it deliver immediate returns on just the first listen. After one pass through A gift of bricks from the sky from Baltimore, MD’s The Wind In The Trees, it warranted another spin and then another and then another. This album quickly leap frogged over 150 wish list items on Bandcamp, cut to the front of the line and siphoned the eight dollar asking price from the digital wallet. And rightly so, it’s a very engaging record that combines grind, skramz and hardcore using all the most easily digestible aspects of those genres and doing it in a short runtime.
There are two tracks the TWITT runs on. The first is the very distinctive influence of Discordance Axis’ classic album The Inalienable Dreamless. Ask any grindcore nutcase and most will tell you that The Inalienable Dreamless ranks high in the pantheon of all-time great grind albums. When the band launches into their grinder material, you can shades of the noisy guitar phrasing that made TAD such a unique beast. Couple that with screaming vocals that Jon Chang trademarked on his work with both DA and Gridlink and you have yourself one component of what makes up TWITT’s sound.
The other is the spazzy mathcore that was put on the map by bands like As The Sun Sets and early Daughters. The exploits of those bands are improved upon here because instead of having disjointed songwriting as was the case with ATSS, the tracks here are fluid and coherent giving the album continuity. And Daughters first albums were spastic bursts of the thirty second screamy grind that were over before they began. For the listener that may find those things to be a turn off, TWITT takes the characteristics that made those artists interesting and turns them into an album of cohesive songs that give off those traits without having you scratching your head thinking, “what the hell is going on here?”
So what exactly are you in for when listening to TWITT? “A smile unfurls” is an ode to Calculating Infinity-era Dillinger Escaper Plan with its choppy drumbeats and frantic guitar riffing. Or the mathy sludgy breakdown on “I become darkness” that is straight out of the Gaza playbook. “They were sympathetic” and “Hellbound” will quench that Discordance Axis thirst with spacy grind riffs and blast beats. That track also spouts some crazy seizure inducing mathcore that would make The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza and Frontierer blush. Ditto for “I become the end”. Much of the guitar work on this record sounds as if Tom Morello was granted access to an advanced AI power tool and was able to fashion an input into a guitar to produce sounds that would make you feel like you were stuck inside of a game of Pong with the strobe lights blazing and a spiked volleyball being fired back and forth at blistering speeds.
A gift of bricks from the sky is an album that is unrelenting. It never stops. It very rarely ever takes its foot off of your throat. Actually, the only time it even remotely calms down is during the final minute of closer, “Blinding miscalculations” with its scramzy outro riff and the final moments of the song’s first proper track, “Sleepwalking into a burning house”. Everything in between is full steam ahead with most tracks clocking in at under two minutes. That’s plenty of time to clobber you over the head, make you dizzy and get you geared up for the next round of consensual violation of your eardrums. The guitars don’t stop spazzing out, the cymbals don’t stop crashing, the drums don’t stop being beaten on. There’s just no quit in this record. The vocals sustain their banshee-like shrieking throughout the entire 24 minute runtime and are occasionally counterbalanced by some lower howls to back them up. You have to admire the vocalist’s commitment to literally screaming over the entire record without bothering to even remotely change things up. It’s a move that works in TWITT’s favor because the music that propels the vocals forward is deeming it necessary just to keep up. With all that being said, don’t blast this at full volume if you like your neighbors. If you hate their guts however, let the volume hit the max and escalate tensions further.