Wilderness have been missed. The Baltimore band’s stately combination of anthemic tribalism, Lungfish-esque post-punk repetitions, and vocalist James Johnson’s icily impassioned but detached Lydon-esque P.I.L. chants on their 2005 self-titled debut and 2006’s Vessel States remain some of my favorite late-night winter listens. (I know I’m in the minority, but I actually preferred Vessel States and its more spacious rigidity and minimalism.) Good news for fans of either album: The quartet heads on tour in November to support their excellent third full length, (k)no(w)here. True, judging from the press photo, they’re looking more like neighbors/sonic forefathers Lungfish. Sonically, take a listen to “Strand The Test Of Time” to get another angle. It’s the second track on the record. You can look at the cover art while you listen.
The higher-pitched drone in the background links it to “High Nero,” the song that comes before it (the song afterward “(p)ablum,” includes additional vocals by member Colin McCann, who records as the Lord Dog Bird). My early favorite’s the kick-ass “Own Anything” and its transition into “Chinese Whisperers,” but the whole thing slays. As far as a conceptual backbone, the press release notes:
Almost two years after their previous works, their newest album (k)no(w)here was inspired from a collaboration with renowned visual artist Charles Long, which was exhibited at the Whitney Museum’s Biennial celebration earlier this year. The individual parts of (k)no(w)here weave in and out of each other, showing how the album was originally conceived as one large piece.
(k)no(w)here is out 11/4 via Jagjaguwar. They go on tour in November. A show of theirs I caught at Northsix a few years ago was pretty stellar. Check them out. All dates on the upcoming tour will be supported by Boston’s San Serac.
11/19 – New York, NY @ Cake Shop
11/23 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillobox
11/24 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
11/25 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas
11/26 – Bloomington, IN @ Jake’s
11/29 – Asheville, NC @ Harvest Records
11/30 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
12/01 – Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree
12/03 – Houston, TX @ The Mink
12/04 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
[Photo by Brian Gossman]