Wylderness - Wylderness (Succulent Recordings)

London-Cardiff based quartet deliver the goods on highly promising debut set

Released Mar 23rd, 2018 via Succulent Recordings / By Richard Lewis
Wylderness - Wylderness (Succulent Recordings) Fresh recruits to the ranks of nu-psych/shoegaze/nu-shoe/ethereal wave/someone-needs-to-coin-a-term-for-this-subgenre, Cardiff/London quartet Wylderness serve up an impressively realised debut set. With singer Marz’s vocals at times a ringer for Ride singer Mark Gardner, while the quartet have the swooning guitar sounds and free-floating keyboard swirls down pat, the rhythm section makes itself felt through the melodic basslines and crisp sticksmanship.

Producer Rory Atwell, responsible for pushing the faders for Palma Violets and sadly MIA indie pop sorts Veronica Falls, brings a clarity to the set that ensures the textures are translucent not muddy.Combining woozy guitar textures spiked with a soupcon of post-punk jaggedness, the rumbling foundation of Broadcast and the ability to squeeze the maximum out of a simple guitar figure on YY AA showcase the players' simpatico.

Lead single 72 & Sunny, inspired by the much-mythologised exodus from Wales to Patagonia uses the narrative structure of one character impatiently waiting to seek out the New World utopia, while the other would far rather stay at home, as the journey might be perilous. Reminiscent of The Cure’s transition from post-punk to goth, Dutch Wine successfully pares the guitar parts down to focus on a killer hook married to a strident drum track, resulting in the best track on the LP.

Sunography builds towards an elongated coda similar to late 1980s Sonic Youth, while Daisy Street breaks from its ringing guitar figure into a swooping shoegaze chorus, revolving around only half a dozen lines of lyrics.
On A Dais, bonus points for surely being the first sighting of the word in recorded music surely, is skilfully pushed forwards by a deliberately foot-dragging groove.

Instrumental cut So Preempt and the sour guitar arpeggios of Death Acid Valley recall the darkly atmospheric post-punk of Crocodiles-era Bunnymen. Reigning in the stomp box action, Wylderness with the contrast boosted produces Peripheral Vision and Take This Gold, straight-ahead indie pop rushes bathed in a deep pool of reverb. A compelling slab of noise-pop, that nails their sound first time out, their second album should surely see them come into full bloom.