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Album Review

It took Wilderness three years to complete their self-titled debut album. Spending that much time crafting a complex yet intriguing soundscape that has nothing to do with alternative rock, period, is not only beyond impressive, but also brilliant. It's smart in the sense that Wilderness maintain a stance away from the classic three-chord formula. They create their own post-punk-inspired shuffle without falling into the kitsch of their peers. Wilderness is led by the chaotic vocal warbling of frontman James Johnson, an obvious comparison to John Lydon's Public Image Ltd., but also an eerie vocal resemblance to Yan of British Sea Power, quickly establishes the band's disciplined approach. While the ten-song set is an elaborate adaptation of ominous guitars, thunderous drums, and sneaky basslines, Wilderness itself delivers a melancholic nervousness. Songs such as "Arkless," the blighted hopes of "End of Freedom," and the slow burn of "Fly Farther to See" press hard in such a vein. Some could have lost scope of an album's natural psyche with taking such an extensive amount of time recording it; however, Wilderness are a group of extreme perfectionists. This album never had a chance to be anything but good.

Customer Reviews


One of the most underrated and unmentioned albums of the last decade.


Formed: 1995 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

James Johnson, Brian Gossman, Will Goode, and Colin McCann create the experimental/post-punk sounds of Wilderness. Hailing from Baltimore, Wilderness formed in 1995. Their self-titled debut album, recorded in spring 2004 with Chad Clark (Dismemberment Plan, Q and Not U) and TJ Lipple (Blue Velvet, Aloha), was issued on Jagjaguwar in July 2005. Vessel...
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Wilderness, Wilderness
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