A lo-fi masterpiece
Based in the tiny coastal town of Port Townsend, Washington, Solvents offer up a compelling mix of acoustic and electric tunes on the self-released debut, Forgive Yr Blood. Built around the vocals and guitar of Jarrod Bramson, filled out with Sascha Landis on drums and Emily Madden’s expressive violin, Solvents take the listener through a varied musical journey. Lo-fi production adds ambience to Bramson’s urgent delivery on songs like “Forgive Yr Blood” and “Empty Vessel Blues”, while unexpected bursts of distortion enliven “Soft Reminders” and “We Were Guests Here”. Through it all, Bramson reveals a strong sense of melody, making the best use of his rough-hewn, often distorted voice and the band’s chosen sonic palette, which is substantive but never flashy. By the time you reach album closer “The Coastal Plain”, with its rumbling drums, siren-wail guitar, and mumbled vocals, you realize you’ve just sat through a record made by a hell of a band. Forgive Yr Blood is anti-arena-rock made perfect. It’s a small-scale, lo-fi masterpiece.