REVIEW: Warbler BC’s — “One” (LP)
Touching on a diverse patchwork of post-punk that starts with surreal, synthetic dream pop and stops somewhere in the grungy sounds of Screaming Trees, Warbler BC’s “Don’t Fall in Love” is perhaps the perfect taste-tester in its parent album One, as it embodies so much of the unpredictability the record’s tracklist is built upon inside of less than three and a half minutes of pure poetic intrigue. Although Warbler BC is emerging from a Denver underground that has historically been home to one of the more underrated alternative scenes in the United States, we don’t find any of the cultural claustrophobia that often plagues artists of similarly small markets in his debut record. One is a formidable by shot intro to its creator, and it has captured my attention without fail since first picking it up just recently.
Warbler BC’s immense focus on tempo in “Fair,” “Trouble” and the surreal “Starry Gown” gave me a pretty good idea as to how efficient he was going to be with the compositional intricacies in this album right off the bat, as their rhythmic presence helps to forge a narrative in the lyrics whether we’re tuning-in to the instrumentation or the words specifically. There’s no escaping the textures and tones that come from every corner in “Don’t Fall in Love” or “Ulysses Song,” and when examining a lot of the similarly-stylized content currently out on the mainstream side of the dial this October, One starts to feel like a genuine diamond in the rough.
Bruce Wayne Carl, the mastermind behind the Warbler BC moniker, has a vocal undisputedly reminiscent of Mark Lanegan, but I don’t think there’s a single instance of unoriginality to behold in this record. One of the best features in One is the constant churning sensation that the personal, somewhat jarring lyricism affords each of its tracks — even when he’s uncomfortable in doing so, you can tell that this is an artist who simply has to put himself out there in a song in order to find any sort of release in the studio experience. He’s labored in his efforts here and yet relaxed enough to put pen to paper in the time leading up to his recording session, alluding to a mystique and artistic depth I am seriously looking forward to him exploring a bit more in future efforts.
I only just recently found out about this gem of a singer/songwriter on the recommendation of a scene insider out of Colorado, but if One is giving us any sort of indication as to who Warbler BC is going to be as a creative presence in a burgeoning scene within the American underground, I doubt this will be the only occasion on which I’m writing about his music. This is a pivotal moment in the history of punk and the alternative movement, and as unconventional as this record might be, that’s precisely what gives it the edge so many of its commercially-bankrolled competitors don’t have. Warbler BC has something really fresh here, and I’ll be staying tuned to see where it takes him.