If you’ve been following pop music in the last ten years, it’s been hard to ignore the diversification that every genre under the sun has been undergoing recently. Whether it be rock, hip-hop, country or jazz, there’s no denying that artists have begun to cross the invisible boundaries that once kept them segregated into different scenes, social classes and even performance circuits. Music is changing, evolving into a penultimate form that transcends things like genre labels and marketing terminology. In the spirit of this evolution comes Cwiredband, whose new EP Omega fuses together stylistic cues from rock, country, folk and even pop music to create a sonically sophisticated sound that challenges the rules of all four genres without abrasively wrecking our stereo speakers in the process.

Let’s take a look at Omega’s title track. It’s a stylish, bluesy dirge channeled through the modern fuzz and scooped equalization of a rock band, but calling it a straight up rock song seems remarkably shortsighted. The vocals are pastoral, somewhat airy in their transmission, giving way to cerebral qualities in some places while standing firm on its Delta-influenced scorn in others. If you like songs that twist and turn as much as a roller coaster ride does, this is a track that you might want to check out. It serves as a good picture window into the jarring compositional style that Cwiredband brings to the table, but it’s also one of the more melodic songs you’ll encounter when listening to Omega in its entirety.

Omega sports a pretty clean mix for how raw and edgy most of its material is, and as a result we’re able to get an up close and personal look at some of the record’s more intricately detailed nuances. A lot of similarly ambitious EPs have frustrated me not because of their willful experimentation but exclusively because of their amateurish production quality, which isn’t a problem for Cwiredband’s debut release. Instead of searching for a nucleus to tie all of these songs together it’s presented to us up front, and despite the myriad of sonic tonality that each one of the tracks unleashes we’re never left to dig for some sense of cohesiveness. Most extended plays aren’t as focused as this one is, which says a lot about what we could possibly expect from a future LP.

This is a great virgin record for Cwiredband and gives us a pretty good idea of the depth of songwriting that the unit is capable of.  There’s a lot of changes going on in popular music right now, and from what the evidence has shown us the expansion of genres and their creative ethos has only just begun. Cwiredband is contributing their own splash of color to the canvas, and I’m quite curious to see what else they produce in the years to come.

Sebastian Cole