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Won’t – WON’T (Kindarad)

For the past few years, I’ve wondered what would happen if Matt Loveridge, AKA MXLX, Fairhorns, Gnar Hest, Team Brick, Knife Liibrary, made a conventional album. Part of me thought it might be best thing ever, the other side thought it might not be much cop as the really fun part of Loveridge’s music is how he just pushes himself every time and if he played it too safe it might just be a bit dull. Well guess what? Loveridge’s only bloody gone and done it. Under a new guise, Won’t, he’s released his most conventional album ever. Well, kind of.

Throughout Loveridge plays guitar, bass, drums, some synths, and sings. It’s his take on metal. The first thing you noticed about WON’T is that there are only four songs. The second thing you notice is that the album is 101-miutes long. The next thing you notice is that the four songs last 25-minutes each. Despite me saying this was a conventional album, it really isn’t. Each of the four tracks is a slab of face melting metal/hard rock. Loveridge’s playing is precise, intricate, and heavy AF! After you press play on ‘NORTH’ waves of brutalism wash over you. About a third in everything drops down a bit and the mood mellows. Luckily, this doesn’t last too long and the tempo, and levels of aggression, are raised again. ‘NORTH EAST’ starts off on a slightly meditative note, before all hell is unleashed. Just before the halfway mark things start to unravel. Reverb heavy, twangy guitar becomes the order of the day. The deterioration of melody works well, as Loveridge’s vocals become sparser and guttural. Then a riff emerges. It sounds almost clockwork, or something clockwork that keeps sticking and never fully reaches its pre-ordained conclusion. It works incredibly and might be the riff of the album. Considering how many riffs are on this thing, that’s praise indeed. The next hour is more of the same. Unrelenting, punishing riffs, vocals, and drumming. It’s fantastic. The final third of ‘SOUTH’ closes the with glorious melodies, uplifting riffs, and a general feeling of hope. This isn’t how I expected the album to end. Given the bleak start, to end with something to – hopefully – look forward to, is great.

Overall WON’T is another flawless addition to Loveridge’s already burgeoning back catalogue. Over the past few years Loveridge has reduced his releases from half a dozen a year to a couple. While this is probably better for his mental wellbeing its nice to see him really take his time over something and just nail it all.  Nothing has gone to waste. Everything has a purpose and really adds to the overall experience. You don’t listen to WON’T, you experience it.

WON’T isn’t just the metal/hard rock album of the year, but it’s a real contender for album of the year. Given how well it works, it starts to make me wonder what a conventional techno, neo-classical or acoustic singer-songwriter album might sound like? Kindarad I’m thinking…

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God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.