28 Mar 2018

[ALBUM REVIEW] Wylderness - Wylderness

 It is a strong and promising debut album   Photo: Kirsten Mcternan 
With band members based in Cardiff and London, the talented subliminally noise prone shoegaze quartet Wylderness offer devotees of Ride, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine something new and exciting.

Their brand new debut is a work of undistorted, yet noisy guitar pleasure, where stories are being told, melodies are displayed, and above all, new guitar music is unleashed.

Released on Succulent Records in Cardiff, the album release is a thorough follow up to their two single releases 72 & Sunny and Peripheral Vision.

Led by indie producer legend Rory Attwell (The Vaccines, Sisteray, Palma Violets, Telegram and Veronica Falls), the eleven tracks on the album were steered at Lightship 95 recording studio in east London. Offering sonic vibrancy accompanied by rich nuanced soundscapes, there is no doubt this is an example of a very strong production brimming with promise, obvious talent and a creative identity.  



One of the key points to make about the album does in fact lead on to several points; it is a multi-layered creative composition, which makes it a challenging, engaging and entertaining listen.  It is album, which can be enjoyed on many different levels.

Lyrically and thematically, some interesting facets are on display. Previously, the band members have explained how when they first started jamming, the theme was the Welsh exodus to Patagonia. At a first listen, it may seem hard to make out what is being sung but a second and third listen seem to enhance that outcome as it gradually brings the listener in or closer to the essence of the album.  

The album has a strong feeling of being on a journey, logistically as well as psychologically, a sense of moving from one location to another and describing that journey in some detail. 

Photo: Kirsten Mcternan
What appears to be fragments of a conversation between two people who seemingly are debating whether to set sail to an unknown land in search for a utopia and what appears to be a real or imagined place, remains less clear to the listener but it leaves things open to individual interpretation, which is always the ideal creative solution.

As well as ticking a 'rock' box, each track is very catchy with songs such as Peripheral Vision, 72& Sunny and Dutch Wine topping this category. Dutch Wine has a unique, wonderfully piercing guitar tone to it, which quite possibly makes it one of the strongest songs on the album. But saying that the overall bar is set pretty high to begin with. 

Addressing the curious, engaged listener out there, Wylderness is a strong, highly promising debut album, which is likely to leave you both intrigued and challenged, wondering exactly when the next Wylderness album release is likely to come and how it is going to sound. This is a band who are here to stay and we should definitely give them a warm welcome. 


Wylderness - Wylderness
Out of 10: 8/10