Wild Flag - Wild Flag
My apologies, but there really aren’t a lot of really female-fronted rock bands that have caught my ear over the years. There have been some (like Yeah Yeah Yeahs) who’ve managed to find some space on my iPod, but for the most part rock has been a man’s game for me. Enter Wild Flag, the new indie rock quartet born from the ashes of Sleater-Kinney, hailed by the media as the first all-girl indie rock superband.
From the enthusiasm of the opening drum roll, the tone is set and it’s evident this is one polished debut album. Maybe it’s because half of Wild Flag is composed of ex Sleater-Kinney members, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss, joined by Mary Timony and Rebecca Cole. Not surprisingly the sound is somewhat akin to Sleater-Kinney’s girl-fronted rock.
The vocals are this bands greatest strength, with Brownstein’s sacharine snarl teetering perfectly on the edge of pop and punk. This is best displayed in the songs where Wild Flag is at their wildest. In the opening trio of songs, ‘Romance,’ ‘Something Came Over Me’ and especially in ‘Boom’ the vocals at times evoke Bikini Kill’s ‘Rebel Girl.’ Later in ‘Endless Talk’ she channels her best Joey Ramone to great effect.
But for all the highs of the first half of this album their are some lows coming in the latter half. Slower tempo songs like ‘Glass Tambourine’ never really find their groove. Boredom sets in by the end of the album as the catchy well-written hooks of the first half seemed to have disappeared.
Overall, Wild Flag is a pretty solid new (old) band that shows a lot of promise, even if it isn’t fully realized in this album. Brownstein’s vocals are top shelf, and hopefully with another album under their belt the songwriting will be too.
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