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Tenuous Threads - Mettle (Self-Released)

8 August 2021

Mettle is the debut EP of Australian alt electronic musician Tenuous Threads. The artist is also a molecular biologist, and his day job does influence his music, but not in the rigidity of the scientific method one might automatically assume. Instead, he approaches music from the perspective of tireless investigation and a desire to explore the farthest reaches of what’s possible within the parameters of the genre. Consequently, it’s incredibly difficult to definitively categorize his sound, as he throws in everything from the psychedelic touches of Tame Impala to the aggression of Nine Inch Nails.

The EP tells the story of a girl who has been kidnapped, and although everything is thematically connected, the artist covers a lot of ground in just five songs. The eight minute centerpiece “Is It Any Wonder” alone morphs into everything from noise to psychedelica to jazz and dream pop. Regardless of the quick change act, the songs are masterfully composed and executed flawlessly. This is exemplified by the closing track “Now or Never” which transforms and changes focus numerous times, but nevertheless feels as tight and direct as a thunderous punk anthem.

Rarely is a first release as ambitious as Mettle, and fortunately for the artist and the listener, the finished product more than lives up to that promise in bold and highly original ways.