Wilderness | (k)no(w)here

Jagjaguwar (2008)
By DEVIN KING  |  October 28, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
Written for a performance at this year’s Whitney Biennial, this obnoxiously titled release continues Wilderness’s exploration of icy post-punk that falls tonally between PiL and U2. Guitarist Colin McCann uses delay and echo to create repetitions similar to those of the Edge and Keith Levene; the slowly shifting harmonies from Brian Gossman’s calm bass gives those repetitions forward movement — something similar to the dub influence of Jah Wobble and the solid simplicity of Adam Clayton. Singer James Johnson, meanwhile, has a howl that combines the idiosyncratic style of John Lydon with the populist war cry of Bono: Johnson’s voice bays and every note seems to emanate from the back of his throat before tightening into focus. As for songs, the band lets them flow into one another to create a 40-minute piece. This could prove strenuous, but the album is more contemplative than didactic — a (k)no(w)here that’s difficult to study but easy to inhabit.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , U2, Johnny Rotten, Whitney Museum of American Art,  More more >
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