THOU: Baton Rouge, You Have Much to Answer for: 12″ EP

Thou somehow manage to consistently put out fully realized records with obviously thoughtful artwork and meticulous packaging. And they do so at a pace that makes me embarrassed of how slowly my own musical endeavors come together. This release, their most recent 12” EP (it’s four songs, but each side is about fifteen minutes, so “EP” is sort of misleading) sums up most things I love about the band. Their earlier releases were heavy, but focused on slow parts with really pretty-sounding guitar harmonies. I loved it, but recently they’ve picked up the pace a little and have gotten much, much more dissonant in their sound. This record is no less abrasive than the “Smoke Pigs” track they contributed their split with Black September, but they have some spacey, jammy parts that go well with their sludge aesthetic and help the record flow better as a long player. The tracks here also seem less disjointed than songs on Tyrant or Peasant, both of which had some awkward changes. Of course, the packaging is great, as the band partnered with the always diligent Robotic Empire, the only people who may actually be nerdier than Thou about vinyl packaging.

 –Ian Wise (Robotic Empire)