A dirge of a bassline flanked with an optimistically melodic guitar picking. Atonal white noise adorned with a countrified twang that seems to ripple into infinity. Acrylic percussive beats that come sliding into an almost free jazz groove and 60’s-style vocal harmonies. Gritty feedback. Effervescent string patterns. Elegant verses sewn straight into the atmospheric backdrop behind them. When one enters Wild Wing New Futures, the fourth official album from the presently ultra-hot alternative band, they can expect to be instantly taken aback by the diversity of its eclectic punk songcraft. It’s erudite, classically avant-garde stylization. “Me n’ Mine,” “Runaround,” “State of the Art,” “Ontario,” “Killing Joke,” “Moma’s Got a Brand New Bag;” together with a few other tracks, these songs comprise a smorgasbord of opulent tonality, weighty sonic wallop and enigmatic poetry that is, at least for now, unmatched in underground alternative music in 2019, and though it’s clearly designed for the serious audiophile, it isn’t such a highbrow offering that I would deem it inaccessible to the masses/
New Futures has an extremely raw production value, but the substance of the material here – from “Futures” to “State of the Art” – is surprisingly smooth and sophisticated. There’s a lot of tension as we work our way through these songs; “Triumph” utilizes its industrialized textures to push us right into the churn of “Me n’ Mine,” while “Dark Ages” infects an Americana-inspired groove with a lot of garage rock menace that makes every element of the track feel angst-ridden and explicitly larger than life.
“Ontario” might be the most experimental song here, fusing together bits and pieces of leftover Pixies and Cramps B-sides into a cocktail of croon and chronically melancholic melodies, but it doesn’t feel out of place between the streamlined “Me n’ Mine” and “Runaround” at all. There was a lot of thought put into this album, and it’s obvious to me that Wild Wing are focusing on exploring the depth of their musical profile in New Futures more than they ever have in past efforts. They’re becoming one of the bolder acts in their scene, and I’m interested in seeing what kind of reaction their longtime fans have to this latest LP.
I’m very excited to hear more from Wild Wing, whom I only just recently discovered when checking out new music due out this June but have come to appreciate more than most any other indie act with a similarly surreal approach to making modern rock n’ roll. New Futures is a really engaging piece that pushes a lot of limits in both its compositional intricacies and in its sheer metallic might, which is best described as being among the more unvarnished (and uncompromising) of any that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to in some time. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend giving this band a listen this month. They’ve got a really unique sound that stays away from the predictability of pop-punk whilst remaining as relatable, if not more so, as anything that you’re going to find on the top tier of the charts at the moment.