Review: Donnie Willow – Exhibition EP

From the gutsy ‘GOD DAMN’ that opens ‘Stuck’ to the morose crooning that closes ‘I Still Remember’, Glaswegian alt-rock trio Donnie Willow deliver an immersive and red-blooded performance on their third release ‘Exhibition’.

Up to now, their self-titled EP and mini album ‘Inhale. Exhale’ have struck a chord with the alt-rock community. This is down to the hybrid of lush indie-rock and disorienting metallic riffage. A quality that their contemporaries in Zoax and Press to Meco are also rejoiced for. ‘Exhibition’ sees Donnie Willow develop their craft to create rich textured songs with greater emotional and anthemic impact.

With an expansive sound courtesy of producer Bruce Rintoul (Twin Atlantic, Fatherson, Vukovi), each track builds upon a spacious canvas and enhances the instrumental delivery without losing anything to distortion. This pristine sound gives the dirgey basslines in ‘Blessed Company’ and echoey post-rock lead guitar in ‘Toys’ more impact. Plus, it reflects the ambitious musicianship of each member.

But no matter how well the band play, it’s frontman Arthur Piddington who acts as the nucleus of ‘Exhibition’. As well as providing a voice with silk-textured smoothness, a darkness comes out during hushed verses, disorienting screams and spoken sections. On ‘I Still Remember’ he delivers the most powerful chorus on the EP which pours with pathos.

‘Exhibition’ may only be four songs, but Donnie Willow use the little time they have to take you on on grand journey. Using enough influences from hardcore and alt-rock music, they’ve created a set of cinematic soundscapes played with the energy of a punk band. And, if a four track EP can be this addictive, we’re in for something extra special when an album finally drops.

4/5

‘Exhibition’ EP by Donnie Willow is released on 9th June on Sunbird Records.

Donnie Willow links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Andy Davidson (@AndyrfDavidson)

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