Wild Wing // Another Victory For The Forces of Darkness
Recommended Track: Tits
“Why isn’t [band] blowing up right now?” It’s a question a person will ask about a group that strikes every chord just right without losing the listener’s attention in the process. Perhaps I have a short attention span because Wild Wing’s debut release Another Victory For The Forces Of Darkness clocks in at only a scant fifteen minutes and thirty seven seconds. You could comfortably fit the entire album (EP??) on one side of an LP but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that when that fifteen minutes and change had expired, instead of moving onto writing this review I started again from the top. Before I knew it I had listened to the album three times, then four and before I knew it by the end of my marathon listening session I had learned the lyrics to just about every song, one by one. I felt like a kid again. My God, was I having fun listening to an album?
I want to get it out of the way: “Tits”, in my opinion, is easily the best song to come out of 2014. It’s a silly but achingly well-written ode to the pillow-y mammory glands of the fairer sex that wouldn’t be out of place played over the opening credits of a 90′s comedy in the vein of American Pie. A sample of the song’s lyrics: “I just wanna see A, B, C, D/It doesn’t matter to me” and ”Cause you know I’m fan/and so is every man and lesbian.” Jeez, I may be a butt guy but the way these dude build their case would make even the slickest big city lawyer sweat like he was sitting in a rural court house. There’s just so much tongue-in-cheek charm and warm familiarity to this album. The first track entitled “O, Cuntry!” is seemingly ripped straight from the book of the late D. Boon, the chunky-yet-shockingly-agile singer of the essential 80′s punk group the Minutemen, a band that I held dearly growing up. The tight country shuffles that support the heavy Americana theme present throughout the album are stripped briefly with “Poolboy To Poolman”, a highly-danceable spiky guitar jam about the pool boy becoming your new dad. Gee, thanks Mom.
Since the album’s mostly bass guitar-less recording, Theo Cohn, sideman to Rex Osterkamp in his band REXX, has taken to filling out Wild Wing’s live sound by adding a much-needed low end to support the bright and cutting guitars. Speaking of the band’s live shows, over the past couple years I’ve witnessed them grow from playing nervous sets at a mostly-empty Lot 1 to putting on tight and well-rehearsed shows all over LA county. Wild Wing stand out among a number of younger bands in LA that are beginning to fill the void on show bills being left vacant by an increasing number of older, more experienced bands outgrowing middle-tier venues in LA. Here’s hoping the new year holds promise for them as Another Victory For The Forces Of Darkness is a quick, yet well-executed and highly enjoyable album that stands apart from a lot of lackluster and self-congratulatory releases to come out of 2014.