Australian alternative rock/experimental rock artist Tenuous Threads recently released a new EP, entitled Mettle.
Talking about ‘Mettle,’ he shares, “I write and perform all the music on the tracks myself. I draw from a wide range of influences, and I get bored with a specific genre very quickly. That is why I make music that is stylistically disparate. For my latest EP, I wanted to be able to tie the tunes together in some way, so I came up with the idea of using the lyrics to unify the songs. I was inspired by Nordic noir to develop a narrative that explored the emotional roller coaster of a girl who has been abducted and held prisoner. Each track on ‘Mettle’ explores a different phase of her psychological journey, from her abduction to her eventual escape…”
With a degree in molecular biology, Tenuous Threads began as a bass player, followed by learning guitar, then drums, and finally piano. At that point, he started recording his own music.
Explaining his sound, he adds, “I’m endlessly fascinated why certain combinations of notes elicit such visceral emotions, and just like in science, once I understand something then I try and use it to my benefit. Very few things happen by accident when I write, I’m quite meticulous and analytical in my approach.”
Encompassing five tracks, Mettle begins with “Abduction,” rolling out on a throbbing, dark rhythm topped by ominous gleaming colors as Tenuous Threads’ dreamy voice, reminiscent of Sting, imbues the lyrics with taut, evocative tones. A cavernous bassline suffuses the harmonics with sinister reverberations.
Highlights include “Hope Springs,” conjuring up similarities to Filter merged with Yes, rippling with a fat bassline and glass-like chiming colors. The vocals on this track exhibit velvety falsetto textures, giving the lyrics mysterious flavors.
The soft, glistening intro to “Is It Any Wonder” recalls Queensryche with its gentle, opulent guitar and smooth, affluent vocal harmonies. A voiced-over breakdown shifts the harmonics to thick, hefty guitars crowned by soaring, pungent vocals, followed by shimmers of platinum hues. The ebb and rise of resonance and sonic energy permeates the tune with flavors of avant-garde prog-rock.
The last track, “Now or Never,” travels on edgy guitar rife with stark tonal serrations as Tenuous Threads’ voice imbues the lyrics with wicked, urgent timbres. As the song progresses, it alters, descending into a lustrous jazz-tinged sonic skin.
Mettle is excellent, pushing out innovative yet singular layers of sound, and is one of the better EPs of this year. Good stuff!