Hardcore smacks from Switzerland with Coilguns

COILGUNS – Watchwinders

Band: Coilguns
Title: Watchwinders
Year: 2019
Country: Switzerland
Label: Hummus Records
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  1. Shortcuts
  2. Subculture Encryptors
  3. Big Writer’s Block
  4. Watchwinders
  5. The Growing Block View
  6. Manicheans
  7. Prioress
  8. The Morning Shower
  9. A Mirror Bias
  10. Urban Reserves
  11. Broken Records
  12. Periscope

If you are not really into the world of hardcore and similar stuff, it is possible that you might have heard about Coilguns a few years ago, when the Swiss contingent left the post-metal collective The Ocean after recording Pelagial, in order to devote themselves full time to this other project. The band was in fact founded a couple of years earlier by guitarist Jonathan Nido, drummer Luc Hess and bassist-singer Louis Jucker, but only between 2012 and 2013 it became their main occupation.

Specifically for this reason, Nido founded Hummus Records, marking Coilguns‘ official debut through a collaboration with Pelagic Records for the release of Commuters. In the meantime, the label began turning into one of the most intriguing names in the European underworld, gathering around it dozens of local musicians and artists (such as Rorcal), while the band welcomed multi-instrumentalist Donatien Thiévent so as to add more depth and variety to its sound, on the road to the following work Millennials.

The partnership with Thiévent continued in Watchwinders, just like the one with the artist Noé Cauderay for the creepy visual part. After the dark and claustrophobic atmospheres of the previous record, this time the quartet went back to throwing noise-hardcore brick at the shiny (and slimy) windows of the world. Coilguns have recorded this album over a month spent together in a studio on the mountains, with Jucker himself taking care of production and mixing, an extremely direct work which transmits a sense of urgency, something that the four musicians absolutely had to put to music.

You will find some irony towards the rush for likes and views (“Shortcuts”), the endless current of tweets (“Prioress”) and the constant challenges for who’s the edgiest one around (“Subculture Encryptors”), Coilguns spare no one. There are some sporadic concessions to slower sections more akin to the reflections of post-metal, but Watchwinders is overall a genuinely hardcore album (the best example perhaps being “Urban Reserves”) and it screams that very clearly, lashing out at a system that «means exode for the many and profits for the few».

A really nice surprise among albums released in late 2019, Watchwinders is yet another proof of the constant evolution of the peculiar Swiss scene, which Nido and his colleagues have committed themselves to help emerge through Hummus as well. After a pretty intense tour season around Europe with Yautja, Coilguns are ready to face a potentially very interesting 2020.