I defy anybody to listen to the opener of “W” and not get a little shudder of fear. “The Doorway” is its name and it is one of the scariest tracks I have ever heard, largely through the distorted vocals and dark synth stabbing sounds. The distortion is something that seems to run through the veins of the album, as is the scary atmospherics, but in terms of content it feels a little hollow.
“I Am Your Man” is one of the few tracks where vocal distortion doesn’t appear to be too much of a feature, and it actually shows off her quality voice. The tracks, where it is a feature are truly terrifying. Planningtorock seems to make an as-yet-unclassified cross of goth electronica, which is highly atmospheric, very immediate and really quite disturbing at times. Two highlights are “The Brakes”, which is an example of all that I’ve just stated, and more besides - and “Living It out” which is quite uptempo compared to the rest of the set, and even seems a little classic disco in places. I like it, but it doesn’t seem to fit.
Now, I go all out for experimentation, and in fact tend to praise highly those who are prepared to take risks - but “W” seems too disjointed to make the experimentation work - it pulls you in too many directions and expects you to still stay for the duration. I certainly like the idea of it, but in the end my main concern was if the album would leave me with nightmares once the lights went out. Probably an extra dimension would come through seeing this live, otherwise a little more style than substance here.