Review: The Web Of Lies ‘Nude With Demon’

‘Ostrich tuned and chronically distressed’ reads the opening line of Nude With Demon‘s promo notes and I haven’t the foggiest as to what that means. What I do know however is that The Web Of Lies are a Scottish duo comprised of Neil Robinson (Buffet Lunch) on drums/percussion and Edwin Stevens (Irma Vep, Yerba Mansa) on vocals, guitars, bass, and keyboards. The album was recorded in the Winter of 2020 as well as the early part of 2021 at the Namaste Sound Studio in the band’s home city of Glasgow. 

The Web Of Lies 'Nude With Demon'

From the crudely drawn artwork I inferred I was in for something special, and this was proven correct by the opener Receiver. I was immediately struck here by the no wave/post-punk sound of early Sonic Youth circa 83–85, well before they became media darlings with later albums such as Goo and Dirty. There is a delicious darkness present which helps fill the void left by Thurston and co and consequently makes for an ideal introduction to the album. The mood by no means improves on The Wasp, a track that incorporates doomier gothic elements ala You Won’t Change Me by Black Sabbath, if it was reworked by Bauhaus/Christian Death. The LP is described as lurching ‘from the incendiary to the world-weary’ and this number more than lives up to the latter.

RnR Resurrection takes one on a 90s journey via Sleater Kinney, one of the better Riot Grrl acts while Best Friend is a brief slab of tripped-out psych weirdness that will have fans of Wooden Shjips and their ilk sit up and take notice. Additionally, the repeated refrain of the track’s title has you thinking of the Ōṁ (Aum) that is repeated by followers of Hindi religions and renders a certain spiritual otherworldly quality to the proceedings. Crossed Arms features prominent rumbling bass and discordant slashing guitar that has me recalling the glory days of early Public Image Limited and the criminally underrated No Trend; it builds tension and offloads its resultant payola in spectacular fashion.

While certainly garage rock in spirit, The Web Of Lies take you down an infinitely more diverse and interesting route…

Yeah Yeah Yeah is an instrumental that opens the second half of the album in a gloriously noise laden manner, so if acts such as High Rise, Loop, and The Telescopes do it for you, you’ll get a massive kick out of this. The Golden Road was originally by Manchester band Former Bullies and while their version had a rawer bluesy garage rock feel, here we have what feels to be an altogether more mystical slab of pretty pleasant psych rock.

Redeemer is akin to an even more twisted Velvet Underground (if such a thing can be possible) and is not far removed from what one would find on White Light/White Heat. It’s easy to forget the impact of that band and The Web Of Lies do an impressive job of living up to this legacy, as such it wouldn’t take you too much by surprise if, for sake of argument, you learnt the track was actually composed by John Cale. At nearly eight minutes long, the aptly named final track Ender concludes the album with Redeemer‘s Velvet Underground vibes and takes you on a wondrous journey you may not have hitherto experienced.

One of the album’s tags on Bandcamp is ‘garage rock’ but this is a far cry from the monotonous one two bland icky thump (so to speak) of The White Stripes. While certainly garage rock in spirit, The Web Of Lies take you down an infinitely more diverse and interesting route than the usual limitations and restrictions imposed by that genre.

Label: Wrong Speed Records
Band Links: Bandcamp

Scribed by: Reza Mills