True Womanhood’s chief claim to fame thus far is that they wrote a World Cup song for Slovenia which was initially dismissed as “a chant to the devil”. On hearing their first EP, it’s easy to see why for this Washington DC trio make the kind of music which seems built for horrific imagery; using huge walls of sound and disturbed vocals to convey their macabre message.
‘The Monk’ eases the listener in with a widescreen rock arrangement and some classic post-punk key changes located in both the chiming guitars and frontman Thomas Redmond’s vocals which swoop between pitches most impressively. It is, by some distance, their most commercially-friendly offering. The demonic ‘Dignitas’ sounds like it may have been recorded in a death chamber with the words chanted rather than sung as the almighty crash of percussion collapses around it. ‘Magic Child’ is punkier with dissonant layers of instruments making it rather difficult listening material. A similar fate befalls ‘A Diviner’, ‘Rubber Buoys’ is an unholy alliance of post-rock and scratchy lo-fi whilst ‘Shadow People’ represents a bone-chilling finale.
In the end the successes of ‘Basement Membranes’ are the same as its failings. That’s because there is an abundance of ideas but when they all join together in to one track, they don’t necessarily click, making for a rather cold but admittedly compelling experience.