Wicca Phase Springs Eternal - Suffer On (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Wicca Phase Springs Eternal

Suffer On (2019)

run for cover

Run For Cover has always had quite a variety of artists on deck and Wicca Phase Springs Eternal helps build the diversity on the roster. If you remember Adam Mcllwee, well, when last you probably heard of him he was leaving Scranton's Tigers Jaw, that little ole' Philly band he co-found and fronted. Now, this may seem a bit odd to those who didn't follow this new project, but it's basically emo-rap. And sure I know you might find a joke or two to crack, but if you listen to artists like GDP or Cities Aviv, you'll get where I'm coming from. But make no mistake, first-time listener or not, what you're exposed to here on Suffer On is a deep dive into mental health and it's very much one that has a musical appeal like no other.

I'm glad to see how this new endeavour embarked upon turned out because I've always been a proponent for people using music/art to highlight and bring awareness to depression. WPSE gets to the heart of the matter here in just about 30 mins or so, and it really does transcend electronic beats, trap, synth, dream pop or whatever label people want to box this into (and FYI Adam even collaborated with Lil' Peep for all the young 'uns out there). What stands out is how he still integrates and weaves the threads he laid down singing for Tigers Jaw. His vocals are lazy, sanguine at times and out of tone as ever, but it's an intended impact.

They fit the keys and percussive beats so well that you can't help but feel his message percolating. And what helps is that simplicity works in terms of this musical backdrop. From admissions of hurt and pain on "I Need Help" to the Front Bottoms-esque "Rest", you can feel the duality in the music on tap: the light/happy and the dark/depression. "Together", the opening track, is probably the best mix of all this, ringing out like it's part of an eerie Netflix show like Dark, hellbent on doom and gloom.

What's also intriguing is that most tracks do have that acoustic Tigers Jaw base to them akin to "Never Saw It Coming". Seriously, if you're jonesing for old school TJ, tracks like "Crushed" is where it's at. By the time the ethereal hum of the title track closes things off, you can't help but ask for something more than esoteric beats though. This track in particular was perfectly placed for some loud rock and roll crescendo (and no, not Linkin Park). Nonetheless, WPSE is a gem of a record and one that'll fly under the radar. It's definitely for emo's like me, and I can't wait to see where next Adam goes.