Except for its very un-macabre crab cakes, Baltimore is long known for lurking in the shadows. Its most famous figure, Edgar Allan Poe, was a peddler of darkness, and even the recent club-sweeping sound of Baltimore house throbs with an undeniable danger and despair. It’s fitting, then, that the town’s latest art-rock export of note is of the lurking, brooding variety. Wilderness, dear reader, is hiding under your bed.


    Who wants Interpol to be more challenging, less orderly and far less attractive? Who wants David Byrne’s and Ian MacKaye’s off-kilter vocalizing to converge? For those saying aye, Wilderness would like to put you into its self-titled debut today. Sure the floor board is rusting through, the heater dribbles out a lukewarm breath and the creepy mechanic is giving you the stink eye, but isn’t this the precariousness you crave?


    Wilderness is one of those albums where if you like one song, you like the whole lot, and vice versa. The band formed ten years ago, and this album has been in the works since ’02 (the band’s sophomore record, Vessel States, is due for release on April 11), but the time Wilderness took to finish it was well spent. The band is confident and unwavering in its sound: the aforementioned vocal bellowing is mixed up to the top, laid over a heap of reverb hemorrhaging guitars, tom-heavy drums and anchoring bass lines that are swayable if not oddly danceable. A tour with TV on the Radio would make sense in a strange way.


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    “Arkless” MP3 (Right Click Save As)

    Jagjaguar Web site

    Wilderness Web site

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