Art is not obligated to make us feel comfortable. Confrontation and restlessness lie at the heart of creation. Such is the case with Convertible, the buzz saw sophomore offering from The Altered Hours. Feral in its relentless and uneasy atmosphere, this is an album that pushes and pulls against its own edges.
There’s an obscured definition to Convertible’s sound. From the outset, songs like ‘You Are Wrong’ and ‘All Amnesia’, vocals dominate the foreground above a wall of growling, brooding and rumbling music that sounds as if there’s a war going on in the background. This combative milieu rests the record on a foundation of solid yet unpredictable interplay from The Altered Hours.
This is not to say that melody and meaning are lost within a whirlwind of distortion. Whether it be the slow-burn tension of ‘Thistle’, the bone-rattling bass growl of ‘Street Sinner’ or jangled soundscape of ‘Stratocaster Dreamcatcher’, Convertible is an album that fuses The Altered Hours pointed songwriting into the cacophonic bedrock.
‘Radiant Wound’ best captures the melding of melody and noise. Dynamically aggressive, the track hits from the first sudden burst of sound from static. Guitars swirl, drums shake the foundations, and vocals merge and engulf one another. Capturing the almost aggressive nature of Convertible, this is The Altered Hours at their unrestrained best. Powerful and hypnotic.
And so it goes, Convertible is not an album to be played in the background. It’s an album that demands to be heard, that fights for your attention through remarkable dynamic, sonic and melodic contortions as only The Altered Hours can deliver. Nothing is welcoming about Convertible, and that’s the point.