Nina Nastasia’s Swedish witch-purging friends.
Somewhere between gypsy faun folk and the dusty cowboy trails sits Molosser. The Swedish duo specialises in rustic folk that could scratch either itch but forges its own path down the angry, broody melodic minimalist route. ‘Appear’, Molosser’s debut, is an album that is deceptive on first listen but I had the opportunity to enjoy it undisturbed one evening and something just clicked.
Molosser doesn’t necessarily play chords, they play mini riffs and then overlap them onto each other. It may sound a strange thing to say but it’s key to understanding why the duo sounds a little off-kilter. Whilst the guitar is doing its own thing, the drums are doing something different. They are often skittish and slightly freeform. They give each track dynamism that keeps you guessing where the song is headed next.
The album goes on a full-on trail too. From gypsy opening akin to Wendy Rule with the witchy ‘Unsolid’ we have an acoustic psyche-rock ‘Solid Gold’ that follows. This makes great use of the ragged and expressive vocals of Tess who want any auto-tune anywhere near her. It means you’ll have some wild moments but on the second or third listen, I found it was a large part of Molosser’s charm.
The Wild West takes centre stage for ‘Water My Way’ and the dramatic ‘Black Oak’. Both channel hard rock vibes but with acoustic guitars and brushed drums and that vibe continues throughout. Perhaps the biggest clue to that is the token cover on the album. ‘4th of July’ is a Soundgarden cover and it’s a dusty wagon wheel and witch sacrificing rendition. ‘Ellesmere Island’ is another standout track where the gypsy folk gets bluesy and passionate.
The closest artists I can think of to relate Molosser’s charm to would be Wendy Rule and Nina Nastasia. Nina especially has that brooding, dark minimal guitar feeling down to perfection. If you gave it Wendy’s fairy dust then you’d have something like Molosser. ‘Appear’ is a grower, not a shower and I’m delighted I gave it time to shine. This is a quirky album that I hope many of you go on to discover.
Recommended track: Unsolid
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