It’s been a while since Dundee’s White Baer have released new music but ‘The Tide in My Lungs’ is a remarkably solid return, with the band developing their typical dystopian darkness into something heavy and genuinely breathtaking.
Electric tendrils of resonant guitar gradually tighten as a solid drumbeat and snarling bass play out under rich vocals whose depth of measured, haunting emotion is reminiscent of Tool’s Maynard James Keenan.
While White Baer’s previous releases express their melancholic disposition through a looser, more jangly sound, ‘The Tide in My Lungs’ feels stronger, more polished and insistent.
The song climaxes with its chorus, “we were so young”, pouring over a wall of trilling guitars, falling eventually like a drawn out, all-consuming wave.
‘While Running from the Gods’, a standout single from the band’s 2015 EP The Promise of a Life of Violence, features the gasped line, “I can’t breathe / I won’t breathe” and this breathlessness finds itself again in ‘The Tide in My Lungs’ as the raised octave of the chorus evokes a sense of sublime release.
It seems apt to compare the single to the mythology-tinged post-rock of A Perfect Circle, all gnarly bass and sonorous vocals; although White Baer here transform their heavier influences into something more atmospheric and dreamlike, building to a pitched intensity only to slide elegantly away again, as if the song were some call from the wind that had always existed.
Words: Maria Rose