Monday 24 October 2011

Wild Flag - Wild Flag

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Portland quartet Wild Flag are clearly no novices. Having variously cut their teeth as members of underground heroes including The Minders, Helium, Quasi and riot grrrl legends Sleater-Kinney, the coming together of musical talent of this experience and stature has unquestionably paid off. The band's sound is rooted in America's early nineties alt-rock scene, although they sound anything but dated and this album proves a masterclass in indie-rock songwriting.

Free download single 'Romance' gets things off to a flyer, as they build upon the simple riff and organ parts to generate a soaring finale. From there on in the standard remains equally high with layers of meandering guitar and precision drumming. The attention to detail is incredible without ever losing the edge that Wild Flag possess, these aren't your typical verse/chorus/verse compositions, each track has an unpredictable twist, taking you on a journey and ensuring that boredom is never allowed to set in.

It's difficult to pick high points on an album that doesn't really have any low ones, but 'Something Came Over Me' and 'Endless Talk' are particularly irresistible, the former's guitar work provides a psychedelic feel and the latter's stop/start vocal works a treat. Not only do Wild Flag know their way around a fretboard, they know exactly what to do with it too, not once over-egging the pudding - noodlers everywhere should take note. They may have been making records for twenty years but there's still an undeniable spark here and you get the sense that this was a hugely enjoyable album to make by four women who have ideas in spades.

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