Released: 1st May 2020
The world needs more doom pop, and Midlands trio Wishbone are here to provide it. Their debut EP, Psuedo Planet, is a magnificent insight into the genre, and promises the band an exciting future. The EP features two previously released singles, Laika and Maelstrom, plus three brand new tracks, which together, form an excellently crafted piece of work.
Maelstrom is the opener, and what an opener it is. The band’s standout track is as heavy as it is catchy, and is the perfect introduction to their world. The fuzzy, down-tuned riff is beautifully simple and creates a solid core for the song to build on. This is followed by Cosmodrone, a short but sweet heavily shoegaze-influenced interlude. The slow tempo and dreamy guitars create a dystopian atmosphere that is present throughout the rest of the EP. This then transitions into following track, Dandelion Seeds, with a real bang.
Dandelion Seeds adds another dimension to Wishbone’s sound, with the sludgy, trudging riff leading into a verse featuring layered vocals with a wailing, emotional delivery. The sparing use of vocals throughout this EP makes their impact especially powerful when they are used. On the scale of doom to pop, Dandelion Seeds is very much the former, with a progressive structure including an instrumental outro that makes use of a minimalist guitar solo.
Following this is the EP’s lead single, Laika. It’s faster and has more melody than the previous track, with a more standard chorus, a catchy melody, and harmonised vocals. The middle eight is yet another pounding instrumental section, with ambient guitars soaring over the grungey riffs. It leads into the final track on the EP, the highly ambitious Pseudo Reality. In contrast to the previous songs, this one is melody-heavy throughout, and has a much more contemplative feel. The fuzzy, grungy guitars are still present, but very much take a backseat. An extremely progressive piece at 10 minutes long, the final seven minutes is a highly captivating instrumental section, with guitar and bass taking the lead in turns as the EP approaches the end of its journey. The guitar solo is epic, creating an emotional, cavernous sound, but this is where the bass comes into its own. The pounding bass plays a pivotal role in creating Wishbone’s distinct sound, and in this final section, it takes charge with a powerful yet melodic riff. This huge track winds down the EP in great fashion and shows off the band’s capabilities brilliantly.
With this EP, Wishbone have managed to pack a huge amount of depth into just five tracks. The complex, progressive nature of the songs pairs neatly with the simpler ideas on show. The EP takes you on the sort of journey you’d expect from a full-length album, and the ability to do this on their debut EP gives plenty of hope that there is even more to come from these talented doom poppers.
Review by Will Cooper