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Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums

Page 11

Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
11. Wild Flag (Merge)
The statement Wild Flag wanted to make with their self-titled debut is laid out straight in opening song "Romance": "We love the sound/the sound is what found us/sound is the blood... between me and you." It's somewhat of a rally cry; a plea to ditch easy nostalgia and instead find the meaning of the music and its power to be a sustained part of personal culture first, pop second. To remember why they, or we, or anyone, ever cared so much in the first place. United under this mission, and as four fantastic musicians and personalities, Wild Flag musically sounds a lot like what the four of them ― vocalist/guitarist Carrie Brownstein, drummer/vocalist Janet Weiss, vocalist/guitarist Mary Timony, and keyboardist/vocalist Rebecca Cole ― were not only influenced by (garage rock, proto- and post-punk, college indie), but spent their young adult lives making in respective bands Sleater-Kinney, Quasi, Helium and the Minders. Their collective resume alone gives Wild Flag instant clout, though it's not like they rely on that. And they don't need to, not when the chemistry is this loud and palpable ― "Short Version" is a good example of the album's noodly, dominant guitars and its unrelenting drums, while "Boom" and "Future Crimes" are hellbent on making you feel their simple, fun, and visceral intent. The sound is the love, indeed.
Nicole Villeneuve

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