Friday, 17 January 2014

Record Review - The Wildes

Published in the Shortlist section of the Sydney Morning Herald, January 17.

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes
Black Coffee

It’s been four years since Melbourne purveyors of serious The Wildes, released their acclaimed debut. In the ensuing time, frontman Lachlan Bryan branched off on his own, releasing the slightly more polished Shadow Of The Gun, and it seemed that the band itself had folded.

Not so, evidenced by new release Black Coffee, an album which while it isn’t as sweeping and textured as 2009’s Ballad Of A Young Married Man, is a study in evolution and maturity, Bryan and The Wildes taking their rock ‘n’ roll influenced country music to a new level.

Still stamped with Bryan’s solid songwriting prowess, this one lumbers slowly (the slide twang of ‘Deathwish Country’), kicks it up a gear or two (the blues-infused ‘You, Me And The Blues’), gets lighthearted (the bluegrassy title track) and slows right down (‘Change In The Wind’), all while managing to avoid Tamworth, staying instead within the realms of warm, real country music. With a kick, because that’s what The Wildes do, to great effect.

Samuel J. Fell

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