The change is evident when the growing feedback squall of Wood/Water's opener, "Size of Your Life," backs off and gives way to a chugging Celtic pop reel rather than the anticipated punk chaos. The Ring doesn't forsake the volume knob, amping up the ambiance on "Get on the Floor" and the smoldering "Stop Playing Guitar," but things remain on the thoughtful side. Stripped of punk angst and delivery, von Bohlen's vocals take on a vulnerable Ray Davies-like tremble, especially on the energetic "Suffer Never" and the gorgeous pop lilt of "Become One Anything One Time."
Regardless of how the album is ultimately viewed contextually, Wood/Water is clearly a work of quiet intensity and reflective beauty that may be the Promise Ring's logical musical extension.
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