WIBG - Winnie and the Nihilist

by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2017-11-10
WIBG - Winnie and the Nihilist
WIBG - Winnie and the Nihilist

A quirky psych band from Portland? Just what the doctor ordered. WIBG have exactly the appropriate title for their new release and a strangely brilliant approach to a great new release. (And it’s been a banner year for music, if you’ve been listening.)

Justin Fowler, songwriter and leader, started WIBG in 2008 (formerly known as Wooden Indian Burial Ground) as more of a pastime and then four years later he put together the band’s first release with a complete band and they’ve been steadily improving ever since. Besides touring the world they’ve made time to put together a clever collection called Winnie and the Nihilist, that covers a lot of musical ground and influences and it all centers around excellent musicianship that swings from campy compositions to extended combined psych, garage, math jams that never dry up or sound pretentious or overly laborious, as some bands in this genre.

The first couple songs are a blast of quirky fun psych that conjures up something like John Lydon fronting Devo. You begin to think WIBG would be a perfect opening band for the Warhols with this approach. Then…

But unlike most albums released anymore Winnie and the Nihilist is even stronger on the back tracks than the front. (This probably has more to do with the rushed nature of the industry today. So many bands have maybe 3 songs that are ready for prime time, they put them up front and the rest of the album is filler. Goddamn the state of the industry today…Rush, rush, rush.)

Then, here, the forth track pops out, ‘Allison’, and WIBG immerses you in these deliciously jamming progressions that remind you more of Goat that the Dandies.

WIBG deliver a contagious, confident nine tracks on this album where they can garage you out with ‘Girls on Bikes’ and then immerse you into a middle-Eastern psych journey with the following ‘Sloth Moth.’

What separates this psych band from a lot of psych bands is the importance of a bass guitar in adding to the foundation for their psych progressions. WIBG’s bass guitarist is fundamentally as important to the sound as the rest of the band and if only more startup bands would understand this.

If you are from the West Coast of America and you have a song you tag yourself a Psych band (Which is simply stupid…especially those thousand points of lightweight surfer bands who always have a song called Veronica...) but very few have the chops and cred like WIBG. Winnie and the Nihilist is as good as hard Psych and alternative rock music gets in 2017. One of the best albums of 2017. Don’t overlook it.

 

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