Start at the End EP
“Don’t worry about it / Don’t worry at all” concludes the third song on this spectacular debut EP from L.A. based four piece Wild Signals. They may be instructing us to start at the end, but I’m going straight to the middle. “Restless” is my favorite song here amidst five greats, because it encapsulates all of their strengths together into one perfect song. Vocalists/guitarists Noël Brydebell and Nicole Ridgely display mastery by weaving beautiful soundscapes with chiming, heavily reverbed guitars that will entice any shoegaze fans, while drummer Josh Renkow, and bassist Ben Keysaer add another dimension. In this case, a powerful thumping groove that matches the floating quality of the song where you can actually “feel your pulse,” but then at the climax of the song, this rhythm section goes a little off the rails with speedy drum fills and a sliding bass line that brings the song to an explosive conclusion, exemplifying the restlessness inferred in the title, despite the calming words.
The busy drums are display elsewhere, giving this band a unique spin on this wonderful style. “Home” opens this EP with a slow peaceful opening, majestic guitars (reminding of the time I first heard Fur’s “Camomile”), and a stunning vocal, before a bouncing bass kicks in. Before we know it, the song jumps into a remarkably high speed buzzsaw, while the vocals and guitars remain at their original pace. It’s an intriguing twist.
“Vauxhall” also has busy drums in contrast to the Habitants-style epic dreaminess of the song’s framework. It’s as if Renkow is infusing the drum mania of first album Icicle Works (“Bird’s Fly,” “Nirvana”) and Thunder and Consolation New Model Army (“I Love the World,” etc.) to the intricate and deliberate setting. This might be distracting to some, but I happen to love all of those things.
In case this sounds a little much for you, “Space” is a much more languid song that stretches out nicely providing an opportunity for Brydebell and Ridgely to crank up some string busting noise in what would be an amazing live set closer.
This EP ends with “The Bat,” which is epic and downright stratospheric in its various stages of dramatic development. I can easily say that this debut has me wanting to hear more. This may be a debut release, and they are clearly hungry and inspired, and yet they sound like seasoned veterans. Excellent!
Wild Signals "Vauxhall"