Glass listens to The Wealden’s debut

His voice occupying a timbre that marries Chris Martin to Gordon Sumner, Tim Dickinson is a key part of the Wealden’s busy but muscular sound on the Rushes EP. He doesn’t say much of substance, but he sings as if he’s saying something meaningful, which is a skill in itself – possibly a skill he honed during his stint as the voice of David Bowie in Dylan Howe’s adaptation of the Thin White Duke’s Berlin Trilogy.

Brad Webb’s drums and a guitar choppier than Kesuke Miyagi (courtesy of jazzy axeman extraordinaire Justin Quinn) help build up an EP whose strength lies largely in its unfailing propulsion; the instruments have character, but neither they nor Dickinson’s voice detract from each other. Boyband is particularly strong musically, though it’s too sincerely pretty to function as effective political satire, while Lifeline recalls the crunch of Led Zep circa ’76.


My Sign, with its stabs of guitar-that-sounds-like-backwards-guitar and Dickinson’s channelling of ’80s macho, is more a showcase of the Wealden’s ability to produce than anything else, and as such is a sampler of the sampler: it adequately highlights the EP’s strengths and weaknesses, pushing both the band’s strong rhythmic instincts and its aestheticised, occasionally portentous vocals to the fore. It’s up to Blue and Gold to bring the 16-minute EP to a tranquil end, and it does so with a thoughtful, attractive melody and a sympathetic vocal.

The Wealden looks to be a solid live act, but what it alone can offer in terms of recorded music is more difficult to fathom. If you find yourself missing Kraftwerk and the Human League, and you love the bounce of Vampire Weekend’s mid-period stuff, Rushes is certainly worth a listen.

by Arjun Sajip