Last of the Wildmen are actually progeny of former rock group The Underserving, not wild men. In fact they don't offer up any wild-sounding music but smooth, straightforward alternative rock.Ship Set Sail is eight tracks of me wishing I were a cooler 8th grader. That'll sound like a backhanded compliment so let me explain: this music takes me back. Streaming guitars, West Coast rock-inspired bass lines, a young, affecting, somewhat whiny vocalist singing about isolation, doomed love and young betrayal. But at the same time it's like late 90/early 00s emo were thrown into a blender with beach-appropriate pop and mixed up.
Musically, these guys stand far apart from their peers, delving at times into borderline spiritual ballads that nod toward country rock by way of Kings of Leon or Mumford & Sons ("Morning Light”). Radio Gals are present, especially in the perky "Earthquake," with heavy guitar work and nifty little lyrics like, "My faith is shakin' like an earthquake/When I look back on my mistakes."
The album opens with the high energy and harmonious "Running Wild". The beginning guitar is almost reminisct of "Baba O' Reily" by The Who before it goes in the direction of power punk rather than classic rock. A great song overall that paves the way for what you can expect with this album. The second song entitled "Earthquake" is equally as impressive but shows a bit more emotional depth. It's pop sensibilities are on par with a band like Fountains of Wayne with this one. The melodies are overtly infectious and is something you will notice after the first listen. If the themes are haphazardly chosen, i.e., obvious, the music emboldens them through a very flexible rhythm section. They get down with sunbursts of energy on "A Cheating Heart" but get far more heavy, and show more depth in their musicianship in "The Drifter." It's not a hard album to peg genre-wise, but musically it's full of surprises. There's the horn section on "The Drifter," the autumnal pop moments and the surprisingly mature bar rock sound of the closer "One of Your Songs," which ends on a noisy note filled with fast drumming and last-minute screaming. This is worth checking out. They may be your little brother's new favorite band and they have enough charisma to net lifelong fans from the young ins.
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