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Wild Flag – Wild Flag review

Based out of Portland and D.C., Wild Flag is the supergroup which includes members from Sleater-Kinney, Helium and The Minders.  While their debut sounds less like a new release and more like that 90’s album you’ve never heard, the sound is perplexingly fresh and is the exact tongue-in-cheek style of rock that’s been terribly idle in the post-modern age.

The first single, “Romance”, came and went within a blink of an eye, which is a shame because it’s poppy, edgy, and serves as a perfect vantage point to gauge the group’s sound. The interwoven vocal lines of Carrie Brownstein and Mary Timony are the real heart and soul of this group, both singers have unique yet similar styles that mesh perfectly. The other members are equally as crucial, creating a synergistic effect with the vocals and backing band.

On “Something Came Over Me”, both singers interlude back and forth, creating a very catchy song that barely shares any resemblance to prior riot grrrl groups. Wild Flag has a knack for playing captivating hooks and creating really catchy songs, nothing ever too serious, the album is a result of something that was created in very generous and open environment. On “Glass Tambourine”, Timony sings “Listen to the music, to the music, before it passes you by, if you don’t lose it, you’re gonna use it,” as if alluring to something else entirely.

Even though “Racehorse” is perhaps the black sheep, and the only notable instance where the lyrics sound trite, the amazing chemistry of the group make it into one of the catchiest songs on the album.  “I am a race horse, put your money on me” Brownstein repeats over grooving guitar lines and Timony’s backing vocals.

There is a venerable feeling to Wild Flag; it’s as if this band has been playing together for years. The formation of all the different members have culminated into something quite special, resulting in an album that simultaneously sounds refreshing and familiar. Usually supergroups fail to be anything greater than the sum of its parts, but Wild Flag, however, may be one of the few exceptions.

By Brad Smith

"Did I listen to music because I was miserable, or was I miserable because I listened to music?"

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