Friday, March 1, 2013

Wildmen Add Garage Rock From Rome

Although the story is almost lost in translation and somewhat convoluted, the Wildmen formed roughly three years ago after guitarist Giacomo Mancini found himself in the middle of a bar brawl in Rome (Trastevere, specifically). Just when it seemed that nobody would come to his aid, drummer-vocalist Matteo Vallicelli stepped into the fray.

After it was over and the "melomaniacs" who started it were put down, the duo decided to pick up what was of left the instruments and banged out some garage rock. They've been friends ever since, traveling around and playing gigs for anyone who would listen and occasionally putting out EPs. Last year, someone noticed.

Wildemen release an eccentricity-charged self-titled debut from Rome (not Paris). 

Sometime last year, the growing underground label Shit Music For Shit People signed the duo to produce and distribute their debut. The match already seems to be made in heaven, given that neither the label nor the band take themselves too seriously but still manage to put out good music.

Around the time they signed, Wildmen published a blog to serve as their website and put out their first music video, I Spit On Your Graves. Although the lo-fi campy track released by Kuma Records never made the album, it still serves a banquet-sized introduction into these garage rockers from Italy.

While the single is fun touching on seduction through deception, the 11-track debut adds even more evidence to support the band's garage rock depth. Even after a few tracks, it becomes obvious why some European reviewers have called the Wildmen Rome's answer to Ty Segall or The Black Lips. They have more work to do to truly earn those comparisons, but the debut is better than promising.

Right now, Vallicelli and Mancini mostly have two speeds: steady rockers with a 60s tinge or frenzied wild men who put out out big, primal rock beats with punkish undertones. The lyrics are lively too, even when they border on pedestrian or nonsensical. But the real appeal is appreciating how hard they work.

With Vallicelli powering through the vocals behind his always intense percussion, Mancini has to work twice as hard on stage to deliver the goods as a guitarist. Somehow they seem to do it with more energy than many four-piece bands. Check out the live shot session caught on film by Chiara Fazi.

Drunk (a.k.a. Drunkula in Rome a.k.a. D.R.U.N.K. on the album) is a purely formed garage rock track that played well all over Europe last November. It's the second track on the album, but tends to ignite people up after the more laid back and psychedelic opener.

That track, Haters Gonna Hate, best represents the band's mellow side. The song itself feels so throwback that it comes with an urge to light incense and project liquid kaleidoscopes on the walls. After the first two, Wildmen blow through the balance of the album, never investing more than three minutes per song in order to maintain their intensity.

Other gems from the album include Zero Generation, Black Holes, Crazy, and 20,000 $. The only track that doesn't play as strong as it could on the album is the doo wop laced and more repetitive Migrant Love. But that makes sense. The band tends to play better surf punk fast or faster.

Wildmen's Self-Titled Debut Scream Up 6.7 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

It was easily the most under played and under reviewed album in February, mostly because the band has yet to put together a healthy band site or take more English interviews. Give them a little more time on the circuit and eventually they'll get the attention they deserve. Wildmen are just getting started.

You can pick up a few tracks the self-titled album by Wildmen on iTunes. Wildmen [Explicit] is also available from Amazon. If you like the band, you can also find a rock noise number called Trouble they did as a B-side to the Haters Gonna Hate single. The single was great; the B-side not so much. Check out their Facebook page too. Updates often alternate between English and Italian.
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