It’s got to the point where you have to accept that our music, our world, is changing, and that the stereotype of what makes up a metalhead is becoming more and more subtle with every passing year.
“People always expect us to be these big, hairy biker dudes because of the kind of music that we play!” smirks Owen Jones of fast rising post-stoner crew Wren. “When we first met Alex from Holy Roar Records, he said, ‘God, I thought you were going to be about 40!’ We’re actually quite youthful as it turns out. I grew up in the hardcore community in South West London. A lot of my friends went to play a lot of hardcore and pop-punk bands but that never interested me. I thought I was too young to know people who actually wanted to make this music, so it’s been a while before we managed to get this together.”
Although Owen is a well-spoken, fresh-faced young man, the music he and his bandmates make in Wren has the grizzled maturity of veterans. Their album Auburn Rule is five tracks of beautifully realised post-metal, full of seductive, melodic passages that slowly build into untameable, crushing riffage. It’s breathless stuff, even more so when you consider how new this band are.
“I got into thinking a bit more clearly about heavy music from a very early age,” Owen tells us. “I remember seeing Bossk and thinking that the way they played hardcore is something that I would like to pursue, so that idea was planted in my head. It isn’t the type of music that you can just pick up a guitar and play, but we have all individually reached this point of stability in our lives that we can just think about this band as a hobby. So that gives you almost a freedom to expand on ideas for your own pleasure and satisfaction, which is a point we have reached very quickly.”
As good as it is for Wren’s art, it’s almost a bit depressing to think that they’ve given up on rock star dreams already.
“Not really, I think you have to if you’re making this music,” is Owen’s retort. “And that’s great, really, because it means you want to make it. Look at a band like Neurosis: they are so influential and they play these huge rooms, but you can’t imagine they make enough money to live off of this. But that’s what I love about our band; we’re very much post- rock, but we have a palatability from the fact that I just love writing riffs.”
And if you too love riffs, a bit of intelligence, and a surprise or two, then Wren could well be the band for you.
Sounds like: Monstrous, apocalyptic post-metal. With hooks!
For fans of: Neurosis, Cult Of Luna, Pelican
Listen to: Traverse
Auburn Rule is out now via Holy Roar. Wren will play Brighton’s Mammothfest in October and Damnation festival at Leeds university union in November