A furtive Facebook conversation results, a few days later, in a small package coming through the letterbox. Inside is a CD-R, the only clue to its contents being the message “Fucking Wildhouse xxx” scrawled in red across the CD.
This is how I get my hands on ‘Solanis’ the new LP by Dundee sonic terrorists The Wildhouse. It’s a record which I’ve been looking forward to for some time following the excellent ‘Good Morning, Captain’ EP released earlier in the year.
First impressions are that ‘Solanis’ is, in part, the sound of a band sharpening their focus, even perhaps of a band getting their shit together.*
Evidence for this? The short sharp pop of ‘Paint The Whole Day Red’, the feedback drenched ‘Snow Angels’ and ‘Me’. There are also no fewer than three acoustic numbers on the record with ‘Song for Shiva The Destroyer’ featuring some lovely harmonies between Paul and Sheila and closing track ‘Silver Comet Jr’ a take on a song I’ve heard live before as a full electric freak-out.
So the Wildhouse vs The Sell-out? Not a chance.
Exhibit A – ‘Close Up The Dictionaries’ would potentially be the most concise pop song on the record – if it faded out after 3 and a half minutes. Except it actually clocks in at, um, nearly 14 minutes careering blissfully along through an extended instrumental coda and past at least 3 false endings. (and is that a bass I hear in there?) Simply thrilling, honey.
Exhibit B – The discordant feedback instrumental ‘Palace of Swords’ but listen carefully and you’ll hear, at its heart, a playfully added, familiar melody.
Exhibit C – the album’s centre-piece, ‘Plague Diary’ – a 12 minute industrial monster over which Paul intones a tale of global apocalypse.
‘Solanis’ is almost certainly the Wildhouse’s most complete statement to date but it’s also a record that sees them sticking resolutely to their guns. No compromise.
As far as I know it’s released next week (14th November) on 17 Seconds Records.
The Wildhouse host multi-band event ‘Imaginary Party’ at the Balcony Bar in Dundee, this Saturday (12th). As well as the Wildhouse themselves, also playing are the Cosmic Dead, Pensioner, Strangers’ Almanac, Metal Rabies, Gropetown, Kaddish, The Shithawks, Min Diesel and Buckie Rage. Doors from 4:30 pm, entry £3. 99.
A (short) live version of ‘Close Up The Dictionaries’ from the Vladimir EP launch:
* This is plainly ridiculous – the Wildhouse have clearly always known where their shit is, it’s just that they’ve never given a fuck that it’s not together in the one place.