True Widow - True Widow (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

True Widow

True Widow (2008)

End Sounds

Between the 13th Floor Elevators and the Secret Machines, I'm convinced that the drugs must be great in Texas. I may one day add True Widow to that list as well. The band's self-titled debut sports slow, sludgy tunes to that do to Autolux what Black Sabbath did to metal -- namely, remove any semblance of blues or danceablility.

Admittedly, the album's hour-long running time gets a bit too recycled near the end. True Widow is plodding and melancholy and haunting all the time, and the songs kind of blur together after a while. But in smaller doses, the record proves to be a solid collection of doom and/or gloom. The band definitely recalls Autolux whenever bassist Nicole Estill takes over mic duties, while frontman/lead songwriter Dan Phillips recalls the Seattle sound from the late '80s/early '90s. I wouldn't be surprised to find a few Soundgarden albums in his record collection, although I should stress that True Widow is much, much slower than your average "Jesus Christ Pose."

Still, it's not half-bad. The record definitely comes off well with opener "AKA." The M.O. is right there from the get-go with this stoned-out, sludgy jam fest. About halfway through the album, the sixth track "Flat Back" switches up the formula a bit by actually having pep. Yeah, it's crazy.

I don't mean to sound redundant, but True Widows is a spacey record, plain and/or simple. It's there in the druggy vocals of, say, "All You Need." It's certainly there in every guitar texture contained throughout. It shows potential for something greater, perhaps a How It Feels to Be Something On-style prog-rock explosion, Z-esque country, or a Future Perfect shoegazer. As is, True Widow is a decent album from a band still fresh from its formation.