REVIEW: Wild Flag – “Wild Flag”

Wild Flag / Wild Flag / Merge Records

As 2011 has become the year that documents new artists rehashing old sounds to create music with vintage blood, it’s also become a point in time where new music rules. Stemming from the aftermath of Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag is described as a supergroup, but in fact, it’s a talented outfit your ears will be begging to hear more of after being introduced. Half riot grrrls, half defiant shred-monsters, Wild Flag skim through influences, styles and tempos with so much ease on their debut – aptly titled Wild Flag – that it should be illegal. Partly due to the boundless swagger the album sweats out. Sure vocalist/guitarist Carrie Brownstein is a fiery menace behind the mic, but her and Mary Timony work the guitar with so much prowess it’s hard to call their doleful riffs (“Something Came Over Me”) and garage rock lay downs (“Racehorse”) underrated because it doesn’t state how much their skill is overlooked.

The shock factor of Wild Flag is its kicker. The ten songs seem familiar but every track is a new trip with no end in sight until the next one surfaces. The riotous chorus and concluding breakdown of “Romance” don’t hold a bold similarity to the frantic howl of “Boom” or the classic rock n’ roll jam “Glass Tambourine” that doesn’t dare brush off the psychedelia or Jefferson Airplane string work for a second. Such variation adds character and with the foursome already tying their personalities to the instruments they hold in their hands, the debut is a rush, one that’s an invigorating face plant of indie rock and, at times, unbearable due to the rollercoaster it actually is. When the lyrics rise from impulses – the same ones that gave birth to flesh searing guitar riffs (like “Electric Band”), it really does become rather difficult not to want to experience that face plant again.

Download: “Romance”, “Electric Band”, “Something Came Over Me”

 

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