Wellspring – Iris’s Room

From the moment this four track EP opens Wellspring’s influences are worn like a badge of honor. But that badge eventually fades into boredom when you realize that while this is a great recreation of post-punk sounds, it’s not really pushing things forward in any exceptional way.

I am a huge fan of demos – at best the raw energy of the initial performances come through hackneyed and eclectic, signaling a need to get the music out at any cost, regardless of some expected “quality.” The quality of these recordings totally works to Wellsprings advantage, allowing the listener to experience the feelings of the songs, while not letting you get too close to the details. I imagine this EP would sound exceptional through your cars old tape player with the windows open, a moment when whats most important is creating an atmosphere.

What keeps these from being a wholly generic reproduction of their influences are the divisive vocals. These songs are best when singer Hugh decides to either yell/growl/scream, or sing. But there are too many moments when I’d be enjoying a vocal melody that gets punctured by a single yelped syllable at the top of their range, or a lyrical line that’s punch is clouded by an unintelligible growl.

The best track here is the final one, ‘Spring’. Mostly this is because Hugh’s use of yelps and singing voice is effectively spaced out, allowing both expressions to serve a purpose for most of the song.

Wellspring are all talented performers, and Iris’s Room shows growth from their previous releases. I bet they’re fun as heck live, but right now I don’t find this release to be particularly engaging.

~Colin Vallee~

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