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Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014

Black Wings: Everything Comes to an End

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A band name and album title such as theirs may lead one to think that Milwaukee trio Black Wings’ Everything Comes to an End bristles with gothic metal. Not quite. The band cribs from the spartan arrangements of The Cure’s early albums and offsets the gothiness with the kind of bucolic miserablism in which The National specialize. The often desperate tone with which lead singer Taylor Pangborn plies his sometimes self-pitying, sometimes passive-aggressive lyrics make Morrissey seem like a chipper motivational speaker by comparison, but fits the overall catharsis-free downer fest End conveys.


When Black Wings escalate their energy level, guitarist Pangborn and bassist (and mandolinist!) Dylan Coleman can summon a squall beholden neither to shoe-gaze nor grunge. More often, however, musical emotions are played closer to their vests, with drummer Jarred Jackson embellishing the roiling turmoil with an occasionally askew fill. One might wish Pangborn a happier outlook on romance and life generally, but just how happy should music made by an act named Black Wings be?