Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wilderness - Wilderness (2005)***


For fans of: Public Image Limited, Liars, Interpol

A very rhythmic album, with punchy drums that seem to circle around the ranty vocals and elevating guitars. The songs are very much construed like any of today's popular anthemic indie rock songs, but something sets this band apart. Maybe it's just connecting with me more than your average indie rock, but every piece of the music is done very well here and it all fits together in a very pure and groovy way. It's almost like a jazz album in the way each instrument has its distinctive role in a complex, yet coalesced whole. It is a meticulously crafted, clearly post-punk influenced album brought up through a modern indie rock context that deserves to be thought of as one of the decade's highlights. - Matthew Foster

"It took Wilderness three years to complete their self-titled debut album. Spending that much time crafting a complex yet intriguing soundscape that has nothing to do with alternative rock, period, is not only beyond impressive, but also brilliant. It's smart in the sense that Wilderness maintain a stance away from the classic three-chord formula. They create their own post-punk-inspired shuffle without falling into the kitsch of their peers. Wilderness is led by the chaotic vocal warbling of frontman James Johnson, an obvious comparison to John Lydon's Public Image Ltd., but also an eerie vocal resemblance to Yan of British Sea Power, quickly establishes the band's disciplined approach. While the ten-song set is an elaborate adaptation of ominous guitars, thunderous drums, and sneaky basslines, Wilderness itself delivers a melancholic nervousness. Songs such as "Arkless," the blighted hopes of "End of Freedom," and the slow burn of "Fly Farther to See" press hard in such a vein. Some could have lost scope of an album's natural psyche with taking such an extensive amount of time recording it; however, Wilderness are a group of extreme perfectionists. This album never had a chance to be anything but good." - AMG

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