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Album Review: Inhale. Exhale by Donnie Willow

Glaswegian three piece Donnie Willow release their mini-album Inhale. Exhale on 4th March.  The highly anticipated mini-album was recorded at 45 A-Side Studios in Glasgow with Bruce Rintoul (Twin Atlantic, Fatherson) and mastered by Ed Woods (Reuben, The Xcerts, Freeze The Atlantic).

After 3 Eps Inhale. Exhale is an excellent tentative step into album territory. It’s a commanding a forceful release. Channelling the sounds of Biffy Clyro, Reuben and Minus the Bear, it’s a recipe for success and my word it comes close to hitting the mark. It’s big hard hitting alt rock that packs a punch and impact similar to that of Arcane Roots.

The gentle intro to ‘Inhale’ eases you into the album, when the track explodes around the two minute mark you know you’re listening to something special. The duelling guitars and screamed vocal combine in a visceral release of energy. ‘Jagged Teeth’ excels with its intricate guitar work and big hook, conjuring up an image of Infinity Land era Biffy Clyro. Again it’s the explosive and chaotic ending that proves to be the highlight.

Lead single ‘I Eat Flies’ shows Donnie Willow at their most aggressive and abrasive. As the band say themselves; “Like all the songs on the mini-album, ‘I Eat Flies’ went through different versions during the writing process. We felt this made each song sound the best it could before going into the studio. We experiment with different song styles on the record, and feel this single displays our aggressive side. After playing these songs live for the past couple of years we are really happy with how they turned out after working with Bruce Rintoul and Ed Woods.”

The quiet – loud – quiet – loud approach of ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’ is a tried and tested formula, here the band don’t do much to stray from the safe model and as such the track is slightly disappointing. ‘Little Brother’ has the hallmarks of Minus the Bear groove and knack for pop rock, yet it ends up flattering to deceive. It’s on the path to an excellent track, just falling short. The same can’t be said for ‘Fairytale’ which is an excellent track. The track fuses the qualities of MTB that the previous track alluded to with some Biffy Clyro-esque urgency and guitar work. The best is saved for last with the excellent ‘Exhale’. It has aggressive feel the loud parts and as such it stands out as being the most expansive track on the album.

Inhale. Exhale is an excellent foray into the word of albums for Donnie Willow. The potential and quality is obvious, they’re a band that gets better with each release and this is another step towards greatness.

AD Rating 6.75/10

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2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Alt Dialogue’s Top 100 Albums of 2016: Part 1, 100 – 51 – Alt Dialogue
  2. EP Review: Exhibition by Donnie Willow – Alt Dialogue

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