Here the Wildmen, with their self-titled debut on the prettily named Shit Music For Shit People label, join in on the wholesome fun and all round timeless appeal that is, dear reader, that old thang we have come to know as punk-rock, or garage-rock ‘n’ roll of the sort driven chiefly these days by the unstoppable Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees.
Watching clips of them perform on YouTube the Wildmen are an enthusiastic bunch, wholly involved, wound tight and let loose. Watching them one is reminded of the excellent No Age; a guitar-and-drummer two-piece with the drummer man doing most of the singing. It’s all basically-played stuff, with the resulting energy and commitment to the (rebel without a) cause pretty much uplifting in an “everything’s okay with the world” sorta way. The album in places has a mood about it that should also appeal to fans of those beach bum whizz-rock kids Wavves
‘Crazy’ has one of those riffs that has you wondering how it hasn’t shown up somewhere before, (a Hives LP maybe?) rattling and shaking like a slightly more in-yer-face psych-pop nugget of the type almost everyone was doing around 1967. Indeed the LP mostly kicks along at a quick and uncomplicated pace, and there is no shortage of “woo’s” and back of the beer mat-penned, cheap-and-easy lines like “be yourself not someone else”, as on the track ‘Black Holes’. Meanwhile ‘Migrant Love’, a little dose of slingshot, early White Stripes-y fizzing riffage, has got to be one of the song titles of the year for sure.
I guess the Wildmen’s game here is pocket-sized garage-punk, delivered in a spirited and care-free, shake-it-up-and-play-dem-tunes sorta style. They do not for one minute have a sound that could be called their own, but then what they do is all about proudly contributing to the youthful rock-pop scene that’s never gone away since the days of Eddie Cochran and the like.
It is almost as if the Wildmen are here only to have fun with a form of music that in many ways doesn’t belong to just them; fast-played, unrefined and highly energised guitar-and-drumming for the kids to like, and their parents to not. And at a time when more acts talk of careers, and spend too much time on market research, a band like the Wildmen are an almost breath of fresh air. Who are we to begrudge them their fun?
* This review can also be located here