China isn’t the first country you think of when it comes to rock music but over the last two decades, Wang Wen has been placing their home on the musical map and in Invisible City the band brings a range of new emotion to their instrumental work.
Wanting to record something warmer than the previous record, Sweet Home, Go!, the band decamped to Iceland to bring their vision to life. It’s not immediately obvious where the warmth is within this new album but “Mail from the River” uses its closing moments to boost the sound and gives fuzzed out feedback a dominant space within what is otherwise a fairly gentle song. “Lost in Train Station” and the incredible movement of “Silenced Dalian” build towards gorgeous melodies and that hazy gauze that Wang Wen are wont to do so often.
There are moments, however, where the music meanders somewhat and this is something that Wang Wen have not yet managed to rein in within their music. Where songs feel that they could be over, the band continue to play with the rhythms for far longer than is necessary and this gives Invisible City a disappointing edge. There are definite highlights to be found here but Wang Wen’s self-control is not one of them.
6.0 / 10
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