DRAGON WELDING; a great name, redolent of fire and the elements, of flicker and sulphur, things made and remade in heat. A great name.
And once you learn it’s the solo project of The Wolfhounds’ foremost guitarchitect Andy Golding, the six-string sufi who led that band out from the early swamp blues of “Cut The Cake”, through the seven-track sonic attack of Blown Away (finest British mini-album ever? Discuss among yourselves) and through to last year’s necessary snarl from the heart of a Bozo Bojo Brexit island, Electric Music, you’ll understand.
Oh, yeah, it’s an anagram! Andy Golding; Dragon Welding. Never was any good at the Countdown conundrum.
He’s released just the one album under that moniker before, 2019’s self-titled outing for A Turntable Friend; but that’s all set to change in May with a new album, Lights Behind The Eyes, the video for the title track from which we’re delighted to be premiering here today at Backseat Mafia, what with Andy being actually one of the great British guitarists of modern times.
Fans of the delicious noise, take note, take a chair; herein Andy swerves from the howl and the rage and the feedback squeal into dubby psychedelic instrumental guitar ambience, feedback tamed to soft winds of warming wash in the background, an almost Felt delicacy to the echoing, arpeggiating figure; think William Tyler stretched out on a verge on the A13, thumbing out past Tilbury to no avail; think sunsets caught over the power station on the opposite bank; think majesty, actually. It is warm, fiery warm; just in a more shimmering way than we’ve maybe come to expect. There’s also a spun-sugar fragility to those tones.
If you’re a proper scholar of The Wolfhounds, you might find precedent in “Disinformation”, the closing cut from the band’s first-era swansong, Attitude.
We’re promised Lights Behind The Eyes will offer us more excellent essays in ambient guitar instrumentals and sonic manipulations; and would you have reason to doubt those words? You’d be wise to trust this man.
Andy says: “I wanted to make music that you can relax to while keeping your guard up. Like Neil Young waltzing with Laurie Anderson at the Chigley six o’clock whistle while The Durutti Column watches over Brian Eno as he turns the handle on the fairground organ.
“I wanted it to surprise me.”
Sometime fellow traveller in the more acerbic and unblinking end of independent British guitar music Cathal Coughlan offers further praise. The former Microdisney and Fatima Mansions man says: “Andy’s work as Dragon Welding provides a subtly hallucinatory undertow to any day, imbued with a rough-hewn beauty and sense of mystery which make it invaluable to me in these bizarre stretches of time.”
Dragon Welding’s Lights Behind The Eyes will be released by Dimple Discs digitally, on CD and on very strictly limited vinyl run of 350 on May 7th; pre-orders are now open for business, yessir, over at Bandcamp.