Thalia Zedek / Thalia Zedek Band


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Boston songwriter Thalia Zedek's brooding, churning sounds have been in a state of flux for a long, long time. With Via, her first record since 2008's Liars and Prayers, Zedek taps into the burning aggression she knew well fronting late-'80s gutter rock bands like Uzi and Live Skull, but cloaks the anger in the muted blues that have anchored her sounds for the better part of her solo career. Throughout the album's nine songs, there's a nebulous sense of despair, but it's less an anguished confusion and more of the melancholy of acceptance that comes with a life full of heavy changes. Opening track "Walk Away" has an almost triumphant feel to its meandering dour chord progressions and David Michael Curry's wistful viola runs. The haunted sprawl of "Winning Hand" stretches out with the spooky menace of Nick Cave, the introspective grit of Patti Smith's Easter, and even some slight hints of the depressive magic of the Cure's masterwork Disintegration. Tracks like "Get Away" and "Lucky One" recall some of the same broken-down charm of Zedek's mid-'90s slowcore group Come, and even the metered guitar work of her Come bandmate Chris Brokaw's former unit Codeine. By the magnanimous album closer "Want You to Know," Via's overarching themes of loss, truth, and redemption come to a cathartic climax in a storm of feedback-laden guitar, skronky viola, and explosive drum outbursts. Much like the rest of the album, this eruption feels like an incontestable force of nature, and we're left only to observe as the dust settles and Via fades to a close.

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