Wild Flag – Wild Flag
By Leah Brezinski
Wild Flag is a “veteran riotgrrl super group” of sorts. It features members of Sleater-Kinney, Helium, and Steven Malkmus & the Jicks.
Based out of Portland, the quartet toured (including six shows at SXSW 2011) and built a following prior to recording their self-titled album at The Hangar in Sacramento.
Wild Flag starts off strong with raw, saucy-sweet garage tracks like “Romance” and dance floor-worthy “Boom.” The awesome percussion and bass lines form a solid core, as scratchy rock guitars meander all over the place amid hints of electric violin and eerie synth/keys (see “Racehorse” for the deepest jam track.)
It’s tough for me to get past the poor vocals, despite the other great stuff happening here. They were obviously recorded separately from the live-tracked parts, and it detracts from the collective sound.
When they are melodic and understated in harmony, it does sound downright lovely. At other times, the vocal dynamic is mismatched and “arbitrarily” affected. I found myself wearying of the screams and punk-stutters by the end.
All in all, this group has a great sound but needs to explore some further blending of their musical talents. – (7.5/10)