Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wilderness - Vessel States

When I picked up this album, oh say, 5 years ago, I hated it. I found the guy's vocals to be galling. But now... Oh now! I realize my error. Wilderness are awesome. I now find James Johnson's atonal hollers to be so compelling and perfect. It's become the dealmaker, I only just understood it now. It's just the way it has to come out. To sing "normally" would be a disservice to it all. You just got to give in.

If ever I read a review of Wilderness, I find Lungfish continually name dropped - which was the thing that got me to check Wilderness out in the first place. I never quite saw the connection at the time, but it's "the groove" & breath & space that both bands understand so well (and that so few bands do). Knowing when to step back and keep things slow and simple. Take an interesting line, and loop it over and over until it becomes a sort of musical mantra - and thankfully kept free from post-rock self-indulgence. "Beautiful Alarms" is an subtle work of art, the one that perhaps stands out as the track that is most obviously catching - one channeling "Hear the Children Sing" and stuffing it through a reverb tank.

If you don't get it right away, that's alright. Just let it be around. The day it finally takes root, that's a great day.

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