Their first full-length From The Cities We Fled is all about taking an odyssey from the bitterness of the cold urban slay-ground. They are a Pacific NW band, but one of the classic creative types woodshedding in dusky woods, from the dark milieu of bands who challenge each other with honesty and chops. Transcendent opening track “Still Asunder” begins with a bed of typewriting and rain drops, an appropriately balanced audio image of someone creating on a machine and nature coming in at the same time; before it all shoves and heaves itself into a musical world of a torn-open human heart.
Featuring the shouted and spoken cinematic sweep of clear and ferocious singer Ben Cline, the shattered, chiming, and churning guitars of Elliott Sikes and Miles Davenport; with rhythm section Julian Rossetti on nimble, heart-flicking bass, and urban assault vehicle genius Joe Lawson on drums — the album should satisfy every jazzed rock fiend. Miles, Julian, and Joe also handle supporting vocals at times, and these scrupulous layers of riffs, harmony, and rhythm flows are meant to be heard time and time again.
Crunching canticles such as “Ol’ Boy” and “Exodus and Decay,” “Still Asunder,” and the title track manifesto form a core of a perfectly swinging album arc, perfected by the engineering and producing of Stephen Hawkes (Exotic Animal Petting Zoo, Johnny Craig, Redfang, and Icarus the Owl) and Michael Sahm at Interlace Audio. This intrepid overseeing makes sure the gut-punching lyrics sound as clear and powerful as much as the instruments mutually and organically leap out. If you enjoy the paradoxically raw and sophisticated sounds of Every Time I Die, The Fall of Troy, and Refused, you can tell We The Wild share the same place in hard music history.
The stark imagery in the lyrics of the songs on From The Cities We Fled evoke cycles of revenge and recurrence all raging within circles of hope and release. According to the band, the idea behind the album title is essentially that true, authentic music is being destroyed by the weight of the immense shadow of popular music and the artifice of fashion-pabulum. Every city has hardworking bands cursed by the mainstream miasma of bands afraid to be themselves and barely able to play. Portland, known in the underground for decades as a great place for end of the world expression, is being hidden by cosmopolitan brokers and corporate-rock suckers. Bands within We The Wild’s genre, as well as groups who possess more any sort of musical complexity, are having trouble finding the fans through the creepy scene-censorship of those who don’t want to really rock.
None of them grew up in the Pacific NW, but have made their home here, and have endured seeing shows with bands that were simply there to make the scene. So they have created this album stacked full of the brutal vocabulary of five young men with superior playing skills forging a new language of need, blood, confession, and accusation against all false prophets and fake friends everywhere. And like a classic album from the counter culture, it ends on a trio of songs that start with a perfect universal dive-rock anthem (“King Of Wounds”), intermissions with a piano interlude (“Hold”) and black holes into itself with the brain-torquing “2001.” Showing that those who know how to play, can play anything they want, and excel at it.
We The Wild has played out with Stolas, Eidola, Icarus the Owl, Hawthorne Heights, Oranges, Sleepwave, Chon, and The Fall of Troy. They’re scheming a tour for the album release later this year, while doing short runs between up and down from the NW and California.
We The Wild Set 8/12 Release Date for "From the Cities We Fled"