Generally it’s best not to judge a project by it’s name, reputation or artwork, but in this case it was difficult not to hold high hopes about the music that would follow.
Tenuous Threads has laid out an image and set of intentions online that intrigue and connect in and of themselves – a focus on progression, combating misinformation, seeking unity, story-telling and self-reflection – alongside themes of hypnotic depth that reach out in a notably human way.
Fortunately, the EP Mettle more than meets the high expectations presented by all of this.
Beginning with the song Abduction, the style brings in elements of electronic sound-play and creative hard rock alike – a little Nine Inch Nails-esque to a degree, somewhat art-noir in its darkness and freedom yet blissfully effective in its professional, immersive hit of escapism. We get moments of distorted intensity, followed by those of synth-kissed calm and vocal intricacy, and the juxtaposition works beautifully.
Hope Springs follows and bass leads the way, alongside lighter, almost cinematic vocals presenting short lines that build up the anticipation towards the brightness and calm of the hook. Soon after, things get all the more creatively unpredictable – Tenuous Threads encapsulating the very nature and implications of his name.
Changing direction once more, acoustic finger-picking guides us into a thoughtful and entrancing Is It Any Wonder. The voice is lighter here, nearly whispered, yet still it proves recognisable and a clear thread of identity throughout the tracks.
The energy rises, the genre fades away into its own sense of purpose as and when, jazz interludes and breathy moments of provocative lyric work well to create a calm that surrounds and embraces the listener; right before a suddenly explosive switch of gears for the final quarter.
Lucid Delusion lingers amidst the gentler aura more distinctly, creatively colourful riff-work offers an organic, live-style performance towards the end that helps make this one of the more enjoyable, subtly memorable tracks on the EP.
Then to finish, alternative rock vibrancy and fuzz combines crisp guitars and distant vocals for a classic, nostalgic Now or Never. Certain lines resound from amidst the addictive rhythm and chaos of the sound – ‘I saw part of me inside you, and it gave me the strength to Cut you out of my life.’ These moments contribute extensively to the catchy, consuming energy of the entire project.
Tenuous Threads presents immersive sound-design, notably human levels of passion and vulnerability, and lyrics that connect for their poetic vagueness and personal outcry all at once. More than worth the time it takes to listen.