Say it quiet or say it loud, but The Big Noise by The Presolar Sands might just be one of the underground albums of the year.
The debut from the Swedish foursome, released today, is witchy rock that marries gritty femme punk with dark psychedelic melodies.
Drenched in gothic symbolism and ominous broods, it’s a vivid artwork that reminds at times of Siouxsie and the Banshees in their prime.
The Big Noise is named for a fabled period of witch hunting activity around Stockholm from 1668-76, and features the band’s two women – Jessica Mengarelli and Charlotta Paulin – on vocals.
Jessica steps up for frontwoman duties most, although their most recent single stars Charlotta.
It’s titled Det Stora Oväsendet – the Swedish language term for The Big Noise – and its tumultuous discord and fierce pacing makes it the album’s harshest moment.
The other pre-release track was Witches’ Hill, a worthy single choice that sees The Presolar Sands exercise their gloomy pop chops, thus creating their most accessible work.
Of the six new songs – The Big Noise is brief – there’s two noteworthy standouts.
Album opener Exposure is a mesmerising deep cut, its patient instrumental break reneging into screeching guitars and vocal refrains.
And Panic Disorder, with a run time of 6:16, is a gothic epic and the album’s most spectacular composition of all.
Opening sparsely with piano and chilling swirls of feedback, it progresses to tell a tale with cinematic charm, eerie and breathtaking to the right ears.
The Presolar Sands’ debut is not an album that is likely to have mass appeal nor yield wide admiration – at least not yet – but that doesn’t take away from its arcane glow.
The Big Noise is out now via Lazy Octopus Records.