Wombo @ Sunset Tavern

Let them rivet you 🎸

📸: Courtesy Wombo

Louisville, Kentucky has a rep for producing rock bands that favor unusual dynamics and incisive guitar tones: exemplars include Squirrel Bait, Slint, Rodan, and June of 44. Their compelling mix of punk, math-rock, and post-punk elements has crept into the music of Wombo, the Louisville trio of bassist/vocalist Sydney Chadwick, guitarist Cameron Lowe, and drummer Joel Taylor. Strangely for a group from the American South, though, Wombo also sound as if they’ve studied the UK’s 1978-1982 wave of post-punk antagonists. Artists from that movement often featured women vocalists and prominent, groove-oriented bass lines, and that praxis powers Wombo’s best songs. You can hear them carving out Au Pairs- and Raincoats-like spaces on their great third album, Fairy Rust, which is inspired by the fantasies of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. Here, Wombo’s rhythmic thrusts generate tense excitement as their melodies enchantingly float above the bass-and-drum sparks. “Below The House” proves that they can veer into freakout territory, too, as Lowe gets off a fuzzed-out and frazzled guitar solo that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Sonic Youth concert. But then again, Wombo can fool you with a gentle Astrud Gilberto-like bossa nova tune like “Blossom Bear” from 2020’s Blossomlooksdownuponus. Clearly, this band has range and numerous ways to rivet you


Dave Segal

Dave Segal

Dave Segal is a freelance music writer for The Wire, Pitchfork, Aquarium Drunkard, and other publications. He formerly served as staff writer at The Stranger and as managing editor at Alternative Press. Find him on Twitter @editaurus