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For the past eight years, this Kentucky noise-rock band have forged a career path out of being as abrasive as possible. Their last outing, 2011's In and Out of Youth and Lightness, was a dark and foreboding (and sometimes forbidding) record that got a lot of mileage out of the kind of bleakness you'd expect a band with the name Young Widows to be experts in. It certainly would have been interesting to hear them go further down that route, but they've done the exact opposite, trading in atmosphere for skull-crushing intensity.

Make no mistake, Easy Pain is absolutely colossal. Young Widows have always been intense, but you're probably going to need a lie down after spending time with their fourth LP. It takes all of six seconds to make an impact, opener 'Godman' crashing in with glacial-paced riffs and a purposeful reaffirmation of the trio's aesthetic. They've clearly been spending some time digesting classic post-punk records, going by 'Kerosene Girl', whose earth-shatteringly powerful bassline seems to have arrived straight from the early '80s before learning how to hold its own against unrelenting noise. It makes a whole lot of sense that they toured (and are releasing a split EP) with the similarly uncompromising Helms Alee.

There's brief solace to be found in the strangely calming loops that form the foundations of 'Doomed Moon' and the particularly impressive 'Gift of Failure', but the band's mission is to cause as much chaos as possible, so that serenity doesn't stick around for long. The immediacy of 'King Sol' comes out of nowhere to add even more heft to the album's closing run - its bassline will remain lodged in your head for days if you let it. After that, all that's left is for 'The Last Young Widow' to provide a fittingly full-on ending to the record. You should definitely investigate their live show if they make it over here sometime this year - for now, play Easy Pain as loud as you can; it's what its creators would want.

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