By all means when one thinks about its rich history and plethora of players over the years, big and small, it would seem that playing rock n’ roll is pretty straightforward. I’d go as far as to say that it’s also pretty simple, perhaps the easiest genre to master. So I don’t find myself getting too worked up about any new rock records as far as the “rock” part is concerned.
Surely there will be songs with licks that my ears will instantly adhere to, and there will be records that I really like and want to listen to, but there will be no feigned surprise or outpouring of the word “brilliant” to describe any new records. However when something comes along that I find pleasurable and can see below the surface of, I will contain my excitement but also give credit where credit is due.
In my opinion Toronto psych-pop trio Well Being is deserving of such excitement for their self-titled full length album Well-Being, which follows up on their Chambers EP, for which the band toured. Well Being took a little over a year to complete the nine songs on Well Being, and the time spent shows significantly in the quality of the songs.
Take the ripe-for-radio, ethereal rocker “Fear Love and Everything in Between” with its heart tugging vocal melodies mingling with vibrantly haunting feedback. It was good enough to catch the ears of the CBC which deemed it "an extremely well-crafted rock tune." Also extremely well-crafted is the blend of post-punk and shoe-gaze rifling through songs like “The Kuleshov Effect” with its jingly guitars and rhythmic handclaps, and the taut and upbeat, pounding rock of “Waterboarding.”
Despite their sound having more eclectic leanings, Well Being makes their sound more universally palatable by adding poppy hooks and slow builds which end up being worth the wait, as they are on the emo-inspired “Jean Seberg” and the sing-song, fist-pumping fight song “Don’t Complicate It,” which could be said to be the band’s mantra.
When listened to carefully Well Being is as seamless as a record can be, all the rough edges are smoothed out, the vocals, the instrumentation, everything sounds perfect, all the levels are aligned. But this is not the way in which Well Being should be listened to, rather it should be thrown on and forgotten about for as long as possible before it begins to draw you into listening to it, which it will. That is when the real appreciation of the mastery of this record begins.
Divide and Conquer is dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We review a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
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