We Have Band’s second album Ternion is a dark and foreboding exploration of distraction, unhappiness, lovelessness and disconnection – encapsulated by a consistently excellent mood. Brief enough to avoid falling into a rut, varied enough to avoid being ‘one note’, an enticing blend of metronomic post-punk, angular guitar and rolling grooves. No single member of the band acts as a focal point, working to their favour. As a result the trio find a bleak equilibrium.
In Dede Wegg-Prosser they have the perfect foil to the perfectly functional, unremarkable voice of her husband Thomas. He represents the gloomy, calculated ballast of the record; Dede instills a questioning, needling counterbalance, by turns harrying and taunting. Drummer Darren Bancroft’s vocals provide similar variety, though the cold funk he injects doesn’t have quite the same alchemical quality.
Lyrically exploring love and alienation via ambiguously religious metaphor – the sacramental, visions of heaven – Dede’s vocal contributions provide more heft and dynamism as a more recognisable counterpoint to the male voices. In her, Ternion is elevated from competent gloom rock to an altogether more human nightmare.
‘Where Are Your People?’ is the standout choice for single, being the perfect confluence of the best elements of We Have Band’s sound. Its urgent energy, precisely fuzzed rhythms, delicate melodic interplay, harmonies and solo vocals combine to great effect. The same components can be heard to lesser effect across the rest of the album. Occasional missteps – ‘What’s Mine, What’s Yours’, and the inexplicably directionless final whimper of a track, ‘Pressure On’ – don’t derail an enjoyably dystopian record.
This post originally appeared on Wearsthetrousers on 27 February 2012. I gave it 7 out of 10.