Friday, February 5, 2016

Great Lakes' Wild Vision

To tweak a rather famous lyric, “It’s been a long time since I’ve twanged and rolled.”  Six years to be precise.  It’s hard to believe but it’s been that long between Great Lakes records so the fact that I’m staring at Wild Vision is deeply thrilling.  And what a thrilling record it really is.

Now based in Brooklyn, Great Lakes haven’t changed much since their move from Athens, GA over a decade ago.  Sure they’re in the big city but their heart and soul is as rustic as ever and Wild Vision is an expansive dusty record that has more in common with mid-western prairies than the Van Wyck.

Great Lakes collectively have come up with another fantastic record of rock and roll run through the country roads and backwoods of America.  There’s enough heartbreak, bluesy guitar riffs, twangy pedal steel sounds, multipart vocals and brilliance to give you goosebumps.   The record slowly trots along barely changing the pace throughout and it’s rarely, if ever, in an upbeat mood.  In fact, there’s a constant sense of emotional despair throughout but it works for the band because the music they create is so suited to this atmospheric environment.  If Nick Cave were to don a cowboy hat and ride off into the sunset with The Bad Seeds in tow Wild Vision is the sort of record they’d come up with.

Wild Vision is not the feel good hit of 2016 .  It is, however, a temperamental and emotive record that feels like it could end it tears at any point.  Great Lakes have a produced a dour and dark record of countrified rock and roll that’s perfect for winter.  Its downtrodden sense of disappointment along with the pastoral feel of the record makes for great songs and even better listening.  I really enjoyed this album and after being away for so long it’s nice to know that Great Lakes can still create material like Wild Vision.  

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