Pete reviews the second solo album from Alright the Captain drummer, Ash West-Mullen, aka Mender.
‘The Subtle Sting of Change’ is the second album from Derby’s Mender. This follow up to Mender’s 2010 debut, ‘The Happy Medium’ is a well-polished and eclectic amalgamation of a vast range of genres and influences.
In spite of its myriad styles, the record never feels disjointed or challenging to listen to as it seamlessly and effortlessly flits from Owen-like finger-picked folk guitar to glitchy electronica ala Four Tet, then back again within a single song. Mender has an enviable knack for gluing together elements of his various influences without it ever feeling forced or contrived.
Particular highlights include the Thom Yorke-esque ‘There’s Only Sullen’ and the chaotic, percussion-driven ‘After the Rapture’. Fans of Radiohead, Three Trapped Tigers, Boards of Canada et al. will enjoy this immensely.
Listen to album opener, 'Plough The Tide' below: