“Chaos is the future and beyond it is freedom,” sang Thurston Moore in 1983. “Confusion is Next” indeed: Sinews, the second full-length from Brooklyn’s White Suns, is more or less coated with heady shadows of existential dread and loathing self-awareness, not to mention austere dissonance. Granted, the album is hardly uniform murk and frustration — “Footprints Filled” shows the band is more than capable of visceral chaos — but what really makes Sinews great is the use of discomforting restraint, and the underlying threat of it all.
The stark, piercing feedback that ensnares “Fire Sermon” opens the album at a harrowing death crawl, gradually dragged along as if tension-bound by the festering grip of dread. Punctuated with brief stabs of assaultive post-hardcore riffing and Kevin Barry’s violent, reedy yowl, “Fire Sermon” is a staggering opener that’s more “noise” than “rock,” though not without form or poise. Sightings, Slint, Swans — all sorts of dangerous “S”-bands come to mind across Sinews, but not in a derivative manner: this addictive and impressive aural standoff is White Suns’ own, boiling from inside.