Friday, December 28, 2012

Wide Streets - "Laughing In The Jungle" - Damn Fresh!

There is something about Wide Streets that sounds so damn fresh. It takes me back to that creatively ripe period when art rock and progressive punk converged in the mid to late 70's. This was the time of The Talking Heads, Suburban Lawns, The Buzzcocks, XTC, Gang of Four and Television (just to name a few).

 "Laughing in the Jungle" is their latest album containing 8 bi-polar tracks that can feel on one hand like free form improvisation and on the other hand like super tight and highly crafted compositions. Transit of Venus jams and shifts all over the place consisting of a lot of dramatic breaks as Jet Elfman's melody can feel more like a tirade. The guitar rhythm break is so very cool. My Own Grave vacillates between a rather sweet vocal melody that mirrors the guitar line and more powerful guitar breaks. The chorus really lifts off nicely and ultimately drops into a crunchy syncopated drum and guitar jag. Jet Elfman's vocals on this one (and some others) made me think of a very young David Byrne. The Catskills literally makes you want to run down the street and find others to join you. It is both edgy in it's construction and emotionally sweet in it's melodies. Stingray Ballet that has some really trippy guitar work that moves the song into so many color of sound and emotion. Kudos to the jammy bass work on this track as well. Strange Pilgrims and Little Soldier (great song) has this early British Mod thing going on and the spartan whimsy of Children's Crusade feels glammy like early Bowie.

There is so much to love on "Laughing in the Jungle"- this is one of my favorite discoveries this year (2012)-

Robb Donker

Wide Streets Bandcamp
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