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wild flag is a portland, oregon- and washington, dc-based quartet consisting of carrie brownstein, rebecca cole, mary timony, and janet weiss. the members of wild flag have played in numerous and notable bands including sleater-kinney, helium, quasi, the minders, stephen malkmus and the jicks, and others. the four musicians who make up wild flag have known one another for well over a decade. brownstein and weiss were in sleater-kinney and toured with timony's band helium on numerous occasions. brownstein and timony played in a side project called the spells. rebecca cole' portland-based band the minders was a frequent opener for sleater-kinney. weiss and cole play together in the 1960's garage-rock cover band the shadow mortons. what is immediately apparent is the incredible energy of this band, their palpable joy at playing in a room together, and the pure inventive delight in the songwriting. this is music to put an extra spring in your step and to crack open your face with a smile a mile wide. hear it in the album opener with its interweaving guitarplay and spirited vocal melodies. 'romance' is complete with a handclap breakdown, swirling 60s organ stabs, and weiss opening a large can of whoop-ass on her drum kit. then there's the first wild flag single, released on record store day in april of this year, featuring timony at her glorious anthemic guitar best on the somehow utterly epic 'future crimes', even though it only goes for 2:44. the b-side 'glass tambourine' takes a more stealthy approach, building up to a mighty crescendo via sweet harmonies until there's an all-out feedback and distortion-fest afoot. rock and roll, people!! 'racehorse' gets its furious groove on, with brownstein declaring she's "a racehorse, yeah i'm a racehorse, you put your mon-ey on me", and frankly, who wouldn't? with a hugely entertaining chorus of 'we're in the money!' and a runaway train-like finale of cole's honky-tonk piano and weiss's thundering drums, this is an ecstatic whirlwind that can't help but blow you away. we finish with 'black tiles', where classic 'talky' guitars animatedly gab at each other, soaring and swooping in arcs across the song while timony's more off-beat, subtle vocal draws you in. 'don't try to fight it' she intones.
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