Verdigris is a duo which started back in 2014, with both members having played in bands a long time ago. They were both finally ready to return to music. They came back in with a fresh batch of songs and some ideas about how to present them. They were content to be a straightforward duo, as full rock bands seemed overly complex and unnecessary to them. They welcomed the challenge of creating a huge sound by themselves. By remaining a two (and lately, three) piece unit, Verdigris keep things as simplistic as possible. They can play anywhere from a bedroom to a huge hall and easily fill out either space.
The 10-track Verdigris release entitled ‘meaning making machines’ opens with ‘The Newell’. Softly strummed clean electric guitar chords tentatively reverberate as deep, elongated vocals and twinkling flourishes of ethereal lead guitar dance atop this melodic, mellow and soothing ballad. There’s something distant and yet immediate about the song all at once. It’s beautifully intimate and yet spacey, open, distant and otherworldly. It’s the perfect combination of human emotion and psychedelic, atmospheric and ambient noise.
‘Want’ takes on a softer, darker and even more ambient approach than the opener. Behind slowly strummed clean electric guitar chords and soothing vocals, a continuously resonating guitar note - sounding almost like a muted siren - floats in the distance before finally increasing in volume and coming to the forefront of the track. The distorted, gripping and brutal manner of the lead guitarist’s efforts adds some real grit to the atmosphere of this intense, atmospheric track. The noisy, chaotic chorus, full of raw, belting vocals, aggressively strummed chords and a crunchy guitar line all combines to create a powerful moment of sonic bliss. It’s amazing that such a sound can be achieved by so few instruments; there’s no bass and no drumming.
‘I Cry (When The Rains Come)’ is the first straightforward track. Again, there’s no drumming, but the rhythm guitar serves as a steadily pulsing beat to which the duo can remain in time. Its steadily throbbing, crunchy, chunky sound serves as the backdrop to harmonising vocals between the two musicians as occasional bursts of power chords emerge atop the noisy, pumped-up and electrifying chaos for which the pair are responsible here.
‘The 11 Mile’ is a slow-paced, soothing and straightforward melodic piece full of a tender picked clean electric guitar pattern and soothing, reverberating and otherworldly vocals. Verdigris once again manage to create a large sound with nothing more than two musicians playing soothing, restrained electric guitar. Occasional distorted and powerful chords ring out atop the soft guitar playing and singing which drives the majority of the track. It’s an impressive sound for two people, and I don’t think that can be understated.
Overall, this is an intriguing album. Personally, I’d have liked a little more variety in terms of different sounds, but I can’t fault consistency when the songwriting is so impressive and the emotional performance is so gripping. The singing’s brilliant, the guitar-playing is brilliant, and I’m sure these guys are a blast to watch live. I look forward to seeing what they’ll create with a third member in their band.
We are 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 critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook