The Shilohs debut LP So Wild on Vancouver’s Light Organ Records delivers a collection of anachronistic power-pop songs so tightly composed, you may wonder what is so wild about So Wild.
But one listen to the chiming guitars of “The Place Where Nobody Knows I Go,” the moody mellotrons of “Sister Rose”, or the emphatic call to action in “Get Ready Now,” and you’ll quickly be reminded of the wildest thing in the world: love.
After all, love is about taking chances, and The Shilohs take plenty. Fusing ambitious inspiration from canonical acts like the Beatles, and the Byrds, with exotic strains like Big Star, Van Dyke Parks, and Dillard and Clark, So Wild revels in the pleasures of the record shelf.
The Shilohs’ love runs deeper than the surface, fashioning a fresh set of tunes from obscure melodies and charming riffs culled from a half century of peculiar pop perfection. Take “Airliner Man‘s” flirtation with “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” or the ode to the damaged art-pop of Van Dyke Parks in album opener, “This Is Vancouver Music,” and it’s easy to see the band re-wiring their influences to liberate the sound in their dreams.
Armed with dual singer-songwriters, So Wild charts the strange byways of heart and head, from Johnny Payne’s cerebral bildungsroman (see the post-midnight existentialism of “TV Action Jazz”), to Mike Komaszczuk’s more visceral mess of love (a little over his head in “Man of the Times”).
Recorded in the summer of 2010 at the legendary JC/DC by Dave Carswell, So Wild exhibits the sonic superiority listeners have come to expect from the producer of the New Pornographers, Destroyer, and Apollo Ghosts.
Whether turning in an opening set for Teenage Fanclub, Real Estate, or headlining some east Vancouver hotspot, The Shilohs fuse erudition with exuberance, meaning quite simply: you will dance, sing along, fall in love, and get So Wild. That’s love, baby.