Did someone say ‘conceptual EP’? Yes, Wither did! Following on from where the savage “Nothing To No One” left off, Melbourne heavies Wither have released a brand new track and video, along with revealing more about their upcoming EP. Rot And I releases 22nd October and will be the debut from the collective consisting of David De La Hoz, Luke Weber, Jamie Marinos, Liam Fowler, and Jeremy Hughes.
I love an EP with an ongoing thread/story and my curiosity about Rot And I is definitely piqued with hearing more about this. The conceptual EP is said to centre around a character ‘Tom’ and his relationship with ‘Rot’, his alter ego, “as the external forces around Tom become a battleground in his war within against Rot”. It’s not clear whether “Nothing To No One” will be featured on the EP, but I suspect there’s a linking of themes. When I explored the debut single, I wrote: “The soundscape visually suggests that all of this rage may have been inflicted toward a mirror.”
Vocalist David De La Hoz elaborated on the EP’s third track “Marionette” to say “It captures the moment that Tom’s sense of security and self-worth crumbles to pieces around him leaving him weak and vulnerable to letting Rot (the dark part of his personality) take the reins”. In the music video shot by Crystal Arrow Films, we see this taking of reins most literally, where manipulation via marionette strings is a metaphor for one’s control over the other. We also see the two identities converse/conflict as well as static showing loss of grip.
The blunt/raw savagery has continued in the fresh single, where we’re face to face with the fallout from a relationship breakup. Tom is left reeling when his partner who is leaving and refusing to speak had seemed to be a protection between himself and Rot and now “his voice is getting louder”. With desperate repeats of “What am I without you?” at the chorus, it’s an anxious rush for something safe and reassuring, so Tom may not ‘start to rot’, and I’m a big fan of the obvious deterioration that we witness within “Marionette”. Beyond reassurance, things take a progressively dark turn where Rot has seemed to take over and led to drastic actions taken toward the departing lover.
Sonically, “Marionette” reflects the emotion perfectly, with broad intricate riffs at first which pull downward into the (really damn catchy) chorus. Darker and more complex, the track instrumentally becomes more entangled and layered, with a build-up to djent-heavy confrontation of the two identities. The chorus is the only safe haven in a musical reflection of progressively losing control. From 2:37 onwards, it’s skillfully evolved into something unsettling, before the final menacing takeover. Rot is here.
Check out “Marionette” via YouTube now. Find out more about pre-ordering Rot And I via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/witheraus/