What can be said about Wild Flag that hasn't already been said? For a band that has existed for such a short time there sure has been a lot written about them! I assume that if you've found this post then you know the history of the members who make up the band. I don't want to bore anyone with repetitive detail. What I will say is that both Helium and Sleater-Kinney rank amongst the best live shows I ever had the pleasure of seeing so I was anticipating this record from the second I heard about it. When it was announced that Chris Woodhouse was recording it, well, my excitement level went through the roof! I've known Chris for a very long time (I think 16 years at this point) and have had the honor of being recorded by him. I know exactly what sounds he is capable of capturing and was especially excited to hear Janet's drum sounds and the guitar sounds on this record. I've recorded with some awesome engineers but Woodhouse did the best job at capturing the sound of any band that I was ever in.
I saw the band play at The Rock Shop here in Brooklyn last March at a time when I was pretty down on music. My appreciation of music has never waned but my excitement over it ebbs and flows. Shortly before the show date I considered selling my tickets but my friends talked me out of it. I take this opportunity to publicly thank them all. The show revitalized me! I felt excited about music again! Somehow, seeing artists that I have followed since I was in my late teens(!) up there and totally bringing it and rocking my face off was all I needed to feel good about music again. I was so inspired by it that I pursued playing music with a friend of mine whose musicianship/songwriting I've always enjoyed. It felt good to play music again! It was also awesome to TALK about music again with someone who has a similar nerd knowledge base. Yes, maybe there were conversations about how many tracks "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen or "Hysteria" by Def Leppard had on them for the final mix. Maybe.
Now the record is out. I've had some time to listen to it loudly and on headphones, my two tests of audio pleasure. Aside from one song that I just cannot get into, I think the record is incredibly solid. I love the production work, Chris added some nice headphone flourishes for the audio nerds. When I sat down to write this I was having trouble deciding which song to post. At the show, "Electric Band" was the standout to my ears. I thought it was incredibly catchy and sort of captured the spirit of the band. After listening to the record over and over on my commute, I've decided that Future Crimes is probably my favorite track on the record. Classic Carrie Brownstein tension, angst, paranoia, and intensity all wound so tightly with the release of it all coming at the end. Brilliant.