Posted on May 19th, 2014 (12:18 pm) by Jesse Clark

Recorded in their hometown of Bath, Somerset, England, Wild Crush is Archie Bronson Outfit's fourth studio album, a wild journey of musical exploration through blues and psychedelia. Sam Windett and Mark "Arp" Cleveland move on without founding member Dorian Hobday and come up with nine songs of romance and transformation. Filling the void left by Hobday are Duke Garwood on baritone sax and Kristian Robinson on analog synths. Wild Crush features the sounds of alternative rock, southern rock, psych, krautrock, and hard rock while still maintaining that distinct English Britpop sound. Their music sounds like a mix between Black Sabbath and Arcade Fire, some aspects of it are heavy while others are more dreamy and pop-oriented. Listen to the third track "We Are Floating" and you'll know exactly what we mean. Overall they have a unique sound that is quite conflicting with the styles of most bands of today.

Wild Crush is loaded with heavy and crunchy riffs and infectious choruses along with transcendental guitar solos and howling synths. "Two Doves On A Lake" is a frantic composition with John Zorn-like sax and a heavy but groovy bassline that demonstrates the pure fury of Archie Bronson Outfit. But before you dismiss them as too heavy or too loud, check out the more melodic and uplifting tunes like "In White Relief," "Sweat & Flow (Dreams)," and "Country Miles" which make them more relatable to contemporary pop bands than to '60s rock bands. There's something about the robotic voice distortion Windett uses to highlight his lyrics on some of these songs, including the dreamy "Lori From The Outer Reaches," that makes this album so peculiar. It gives it this glittery quality that makes these songs not so much serious as they are novelty. Even the sax gives the album this cheesy feeling but in a delightfully good way. Cleveland's drumming becomes problematic at times; he gets some good rhythms going like on "We Are Floating" and "Hunch Your Body, Love Somebody," but on songs like "Love To Pin You Down"and "Lori From The Outer Reaches" his style is almost unbearably rigid. But perhaps that was the style he was aiming for in such simplistic songs. Either way the psychedelic studio effects and analog synths do a phenomenal job from distracting away from the lackluster rhythms and sometimes out of key guitar.

Archie Bronson Outfit has had acclaim for their last two albums but Wild Crush will most likely not live up to the reputations of Derdang Derdang or Coconut. They have a lot of confidence is evident through their attitude in the lyrics and electrifying playing but the songs don't live up to their expectations. Not that they're necessarily a let down but they just don't truly inspire any intense rush of emotion like some albums this year have. In other word, Wild Crush won't be making the waves it wants to but it's still an adorably dangerous slice of rock and roll.

Track List:

  1. Two Doves On A Lake
  2. In White Relief
  3. We Are Floating
  4. Love To Pin You Down
  5. Lori From The Outer Reaches
  6. Cluster Up & Hover
  7. Sweat & Flow (Dreams)
  8. Hunch Your Body, Love Somebody
  9. Country Miles
Archie Bronson Outfit: Wild Crush
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

65 / 100
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