Thumbscrew-Convallaria_Quick 100

On their new release, Thumbscrew juxtapose well defined rhythmic space against flat, open planes with Michael Formanek and Mary Halvorson constantly communicating back and forth, both carrying a heavy breadth of expression in their respective voices. Halvorson’s quirky melodic interpretation is also complemented by Tomas Fujiwara’s textural drum articulations making for a truly collective effort.  Although the group could have easily fallen into the trap of rhythm, chords, and bass, their unpredictable song structures allow for each member to shine through at varying time intervals.  “Cleome” serves as a groove driven opener whereas “Trigger” embodies the melody of a semi-typical ballad and “Screaming Piha” floats off into the void.  Contrast shines through from track to track culminating in an album that surprises both in composition and interpretation from beginning to end.

DB

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