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Boomkat Product Review:
Lo-fi as its gritty production style may be, Women's sophomore full-length, Public Strain might be one of the year's most adventurous records. The all-too familiar reverb splatter and garage-dwelling recording traits are in full effect (though the Chad VanGaalen production certainly offers a superior take on this well-worn aesthetic) yet the often jarringly obscure guitar link-ups offer plenty of fresh sounds. The album opens in one of its more experimental modes, droning artfully through 'Can't You See' before the spiny lead guitars of 'Heat Distraction flood in as a full-on pop assault. Throughout the album, mauled guitar tunings and tricky time signatures collide with ingeniously ornate melodies, and the deft chop-and-change of 'Heat Distraction' has to go down as one of the most successful instances of this. Elsewhere you'll hear the Brian Wilson-like heavenly vocals of 'Penal Colony' complete with luscious, vintage, echo-enriched presentation, and eventually the hyper-melodic album closer, 'Eyesore', which wraps up the album with its biggest hooks. The more disjointed component parts of these pieces continually hint towards the experimental driving force of this band, and with warm, thrumming drone outing 'Bells' and ultra-minimalist krautrocker 'China Steps', Women sound like they're miles ahead of their garage-pop contemporaries. Very highly Recommended.