EP Review: "Gnaw" by the Tomblands
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The Tomblands, originally based in Champaign-Urbana and now in Chicago, released their new EP “GNAW” last month.  This EP features long guitar intros and whispered lyrics, which will have listeners’ hair-raising and spine-tingling. Its cover art represents the album’s ghostly sound and haunting vibe.

Each song is titled by one word, which highlights the simplistic reversion to classic rock that the album embodies. With a focus on the instruments rather than the lyrics or electronic beats found in most of today’s popular music, elements of old school music are exemplified. However, listeners do not have to be rock ‘n’ roll fanatics to jam out to this album. The instrumental-heavy songs can be appreciated by all who enjoy fast-paced guitar solos and strong drum beats. Each song offers head-banging tunes and unique sounds ranging from quick-tempo rock to mellow psychedelia and makes an important contribution to the EP.

The song “Temporal” has received the most notoriety out of the six songs featured on the album. It begins strong with an intense guitar track and vocals. The lyrics, although few in number, successfully communicate the emphasis of the song on the mortal aspect of being.

The next song, “Glutton,” continues the album’s fierce introduction and takes a spiritual turn relating to the consumption of others’ thoughts and emotions. They recently released a music video for this song, which depicted high energetic scenes as well as slow-motion riot clips. This combination of hard and slow-paced sounds is a great example of the band’s mixed musical style.

“Broken” stresses the instrumental component of the album most evidently. The dominant guitar solos highlight the band’s guitarist talents and are effectively placed in the middle of the album as an emphasis of the band’s tribute to classic rock.

“Absurd” contains the most lyrics, which are used to connect the album’s message of mortality and spirituality. It draws the gap between life and death by describing the inevitability of time and the ending of it for each being.

“Constrictor” is another successful example of the band’s ability to combine fast-paced, high-energy sounds with delicate and muted lyrics. The track even holds a good amount of time at the end for the guitarist to show off their technical talents.

The last song on the album is titled “Marrow” and brings the album’s message back toward the idea of the bodily being. It stays true to the phrase “grand finale” by offering a closing track to the EP that stands out for being strong in a lively and spirited manner. The drums are highlighted throughout this song and lead the instruments in and out of the music until the very end.

With this only being The Tomblands’ second EP release and amounting to a short 22 minutes, it maintains an impressive and impactful effect on the audience. It certainly deserves a listen from listeners who appreciate instrumental talent.

By Isabel Launspauch

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