Posted on August 8th, 2018
[as seen on Stereogum]
Fond Han, the experimental post-hardcore project led by Thomas Baumann, are back with “Wronk,” a title track of sorts from their forthcoming sophomore album Wronked. The new album — due out in October via Exploding In Sound — follows the New Brunswick band’s 2015 debut, Sham Cloud.
See-sawing between moments of quiet rumination and big surges of urgent instrumentation, “Wronk” is a jumpy, densely layered knot of manic energy. The song starts off woozy and ominous before spilling into a deluge of free jazz blasts and post hardcore bursts. They beam in distortion and synth like lasers, pinpointing perfect spaces to fill with extraterrestrial fuzz.
Listening is a kind of catharsis in its own right, which sort of aligns with Baumann’s thinking behind the album as a way to expel some of his inner demons surrounding mental illness, addiction and the disintegration of relationships.
In an email, Baumann explained some of the process behind the upcoming LP:
"It’s darker than the last record. When we were finishing up the week of tracking I remember listening to everything and thinking, shit… this is too depressing. It made me feel pretty terrible hearing all of it, knowing I was responsible. Wondering what use surfacing and fossilizing these emotions could have, why would I want to share this with people I don’t know? Why dump this gloom on the people I do?"
There’s something to be said about how expansive the track sounds, which is probably aided by the wide range of influences and figures who went into the creative process. Wronked was recorded in Chicago with Seth Engel, of Pallet Sound and Options, and New York with Michael J. Thomas III (Ovlov, Empress Of, Grass Is Green). The record features a whole cast of longtime collaborators like Kira McDonald, Alex Molini (Stove, Dirty Dishes, Titus Andronicus) and members of Chicago avant-jazz/post-rock collective Monobody.
Judging by the sound of the new song, the new Fond Han album is shaping up to sound like nothing else on the EIS roster, or anything else for that matter. Listen below.