Breakthrough Record

Wilderado // Wilderado

You know, in an era dominated by a progressively boundary-free musical landscape, where pop, hip hop, rock and dance music congeal in ways that can seem indistinguishable from one another, sometimes it’s nice to hear a wooly rock band making songs that reach for great heights, but sound refreshingly grounded. That’s Wilderado. This is the sound of their aptly self-titled debut by the LA by-way-of Tulsa, Oklahoma quartet.

The record kicks off with an astral backing track before a loping riff kicks in. Then you hear the melodic vocal of lead singer & guitarist Max Rainer. It’s hook city: “I'd really like to meet you/‘Bout a dozen times a week/Yeah, I'd really like see you/Walking up and down my street/ left California for a bigger slice of cheese/But I would have waited for you if you didn't want to leave”. It’s just a hooky, irresistible track that seeps into your subconsciousness long after you’ve stopped listening to the record.

Wilderado // Wilderado

“Astronaut” has the same new wave jangle that would not be out of place on an early Strokes record, while “Head Right” has an on-point propulsion that would find itself on a soundtrack of a teen-centric movie in ’04.

While Wilderado has plenty of not-quite distant throwback qualities to their songs, there are truly provocative moments - like the bubbling, subterranean sound of “The Worst of It”, a song that couples slick synths and a nervy riff that meshes wonderfully with Rainer’s vocal. “The Window”, is also worth a mention here as it plays on this with its show stopping piano and slow-dance guitars.

There’s plenty to like on Wilderado. It’s a record that’s so dynamic, plainly enjoyable and devoid of flavor-of-the-moment production styles that unmoor it from the era we are in. They’ve made something sound durable and lasting without the fuss that it takes to reach that sound. It’s a rare trick, but one they’ve mastered.

- Brendan Hilliard, Obviate Media


Listen to Wilderado


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