The Wilderness do not do things the way that you want them to do them. Most bands seem to be in a full-out sprint to put out their debut album. I’ve seen bands put out an album before they have even played a show. For the most part, rushing into an album is an ill-advised decision. It isn’t until these bands continue to play, fine-tune their craft, and put out a second release that you really start to see the potential.
The Wilderness, however, have waited something like five years to put out their debut album. For over a year now I have known they were working on this record, and for a while I legitimately started to wonder if it ever was going to surface. But it did, and it did in a big way.
The Wilderness surely know that the trend right now is to put out more succinct, shorter songs, so what did they do? They put out a five track album that runs just under 30 minutes. And at a time when bands seem to be cutting corners to save costs, the Wilderness are issuing the album on CDs, vinyl and download cards. Plus they worked with the creme de la creme in terms of mixers (Dean Marino of Chemical Sound, Noah Mintz of Lacquer Channel). So while it did take a while — a long while — they are doing this release up proper.
Well respected as one of the most dynamic live bands in the city, the Wilderness now try to capture that sound on their debut self-titled album and I think they do a strong job at doing so. Album opener “Systems” begins with an awesome synth part before bursting into a huge sounding, dark, dance rock anthem. I love this song live and the recording does not disappoint.
In fact, I personally feel that hearing such a solid recording from the band can only help but have people realize that the balloons, the glitter, the bubbles and all the other fun stuff that the Wilderness incorporate into their live show is to add to the experience like something you would expect at a Flaming Lips concert, as opposed to a distraction from the music itself.
The sequencing on the album is one of its strongest suits. Every song leads into another in an effortless flow that makes you question whether or not the track did in fact switch. “Real Politik” is a banger and a half! Lee Piazza, if you’ve ever had the chance to speak to him, is a very passionate individual and that passion is one of his strongest assets as a performer. Never is it stronger on the album than it is with “Real Politik.”
But what this album does for me as a listener is really highlights just how talented the rest of the Wilderness are. Watching them live it is difficult not to find yourself following Lee’s every move. But on this album they are truly a band, whether it’s the huge drum performance from Chris Mason, the driving guitar that provides the road map for where these songs are going, or the massive bass that pretty much insists you not passively listen to the record. This is the Wilderness as one.
The Wilderness release their album on November 20th at the Horseshoe Tavern with a wicked lineup of local acts that I strongly recommend you go check out. Alas, I’ll be in Mexico — which doesn’t suck, but it will suck to miss the show. Also on the bill are:
The Cautioneers: Been taking some time off from the music scene themselves to work on their debut album, which is one that I very much look forward to. A huge folk driven, high energy sound that explodes more than you think it might from that description.
Polynesian Bride: An 11-piece collective of musicians playing all sorts of instruments who have an indie-rock meets Animal Collective thing going on.
Krupke: Everyone’s favourite art-rockers fresh off an East Coast tour play the Horseshoe Tavern again. Their performance is not to be missed and will be their last for a considerable amount of time.
The fb event is here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=163305543690400
And here is “Systems” for you to listen to and hear for yourself and get pumped up for the show!
Dan Wolovick — twowaymonologues.com