Thursday, September 15, 2011

Album Review: Wild Flag - Wild Flag

After their successful tour last spring, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that Wild Flag would put out a superb record. This week the evidence is in and Wild Flag’s self-titled debut is every bit as entertaining as their live show.

The album was recorded live in the The Hanger, a cavernous space, and it creates a gratifying ring, particularly with the drum sound (just listen to the intro of “Electric Band”). Guitar and keyboard tones hang in the air after they’re struck creating a delicious mix of tones.

Carrie Brownstein’s and Mary Timony’s guitar playing often stands out the most in this concoction. The interplay between the two creates some of the album’s most compelling moments. Their graceful transitions from powerful to melodious statements are also impressive. The ending to “Black Tiles” is a great example of both.

The music is influenced by a myriad of rock styles — punk, classic rock, psychedelia, surf — but unlike the recent wave of nostalgia bands, Wild Flag doesn’t just pay tribute through replication. They combine and meld to create music that feels familiar yet entirely unique.

”We love the sound, the sound is what found us. Sound is the blood between me and you," Wild Flag sing on “Romance,” a brilliant song with a driving chorus that sucks you in like a riptide.

Wild Flag’s the immense love of music is clear on their debut - just like it was in their live show - so it’s fitting that on it the band has created music that will be loved.

Wild Flag is out now on Merge Records. The band will play the Cat's Cradle on Friday, October 21.

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