North Carolina outfit Irata first caught my ear four years ago with their Kylesa-inspired (and Phil Cope-produced) album Sweet Loris. Since then, they’ve expanded from a trio to a four-piece, and signed to Small Stone for their latest effort. They haven’t completely abandoned that Kylesa sound, though…
Tower opens with the title track, a sub-three-minute burst of melodic post-sludge that falls somewhere between Kylesa and Torche. At a shade under six minutes, “Waking Eye” is more akin to the angular noise-rock of more recent Melvins, or perhaps their Seattle-born bastard brethren, Big Business…although its soaring outro again brings Cope, Pleasants and company to mind. “Weightless” has a solid, melodic groove reminiscent of Red Fang or Lo-Pan, and a catchy chorus to match. If rock radio was even still a thing, this tune would be a good fit.
The mellow, six-minute swirl of “Innocent Murmur” is an unexpected change of pace – not many heavy riffs here – and while the meandering intro to “Leviathan” has me expecting more of the same, they do drop the first distorted fuzzbomb about a minute in. Another solid, soaring chorus on this song, too. Speaking of the unexpected, “Crawl to Corners” opens with a trumpet(!) solo, and takes a lighter, airier approach, sorta like a postmodern Pink Floyd. Does that make this post-post-sludge?