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Wild Flag

32 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 13, 2011
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$11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 17 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

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. In April of 2011, they went to Sacramento, California, where they recorded their self-titled album with engineer Chris Woodhouse at the Hangar. All tracks were recorded live except for the vocals.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 13, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B005DLBL4U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,607 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Ronnie James on September 13, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I don't normally write album reviews. I usually just make a diorama and show people what a specific set of songs means to me. With that said, here I go...this Portland based band has made the 15 yr old girl in me come alive with these super charged hooks, power kick beats and fuzzed out lyrical dynamacism (yup, that is a word now- you're welcome). Love the song 'romance" super sweet beats that totally made me forget to turn on my blinker when making a left turn, almost hit some dude in Lycra jogging on rt. 80 today, uh-oh. Sure, the tools at Pitchfork may sweat these gals hard, but the praise is worth it. This music is fun, energetic, fabulous, butt-kicking, almost like Edward James Olmos in Battle Start Gallactica. I have listened to the album about 8 times today, I know, unreal. So, pick this up, rock out, and take a trip back to the late 90s. I think this would be good work out music, if by working out you mean kicking in car windows of ex-boyfriends.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Scott B. Saul on December 22, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I have always respected and been a fan of Sleater-Kinney since it was such an honest, simple and expressive rock and roll trio...yet despite the simplicity...there was much more there than just three chord rock. My favorite Sleater Tunes were the most melodic onces.

"Wild Flag", made up of former members of that band, actually improve upon Sleater-Kinney by focusing on infectuous melodies. That is no easy accomplishment.

What I really like is the creative use of the instruments taking things well beyond stereotypical "buzz saw" guitars. There is wonderful harmonizing, dueling countermelodic tones, propulsive backbeats and anthemic chants that make this band create. what first sounds like simple punk/indie music, but upon careful listening, there is so much more there. This is great song writing, impressive musicianship and exemplary creativity. It reminds me of the high quality punk that came out of New York City in the 70's a la Talking Heads, and Television. "Romance", "Something Came over Me" and "Short Versions" are highlights but the other songs are of high quality.

A big thumbs up for adventerous music like this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Schaeffer on October 18, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I really dislike the overuse of "supergroup" to describe this band but if it gets people's attention that cool. I grew up on Helium and Sleater-Kinney and I really love the melding of the two sounds here. (Is it just me or does Short Version sound totally like What Institution Are You From?) I don't buy a lot of albums anymore because I prefer live music but so glad I got this one.

While it might not sound new if you listened to the bands above, I hope this introduces a new generation of girls to the riot-grrl sound. While Wild Flag are thoroughly 21st century, they remind me so much more of that era than say, Le Tigre. And I'm totally remembering all my Helium songs from days gone by.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. D. Kelly on September 22, 2011
Format: Audio CD
A quick scan of Wild Flag's ingredients might give the impression that this is a new incarnation of girl-power phenom Sleater-Kinney, as two of its members are on board. But riot grrrl purists are likely to be disappointed because Wild Flag is not flying that particular flag. This is straight-up rock 'n' roll.

It's nice to know there are bands in 2011 still confident enough to refrain from slathering their output in gimmicks and synthesized polish. Here there are no samples, loops or other laptop noodling -- and mixing-board activity seems to have been kept to a minimum during production. The only tweak on "Wild Flag" is that the vocals were added in later, probably to allow the music to come through more fully. And it does. There is a palpable sense of space to the mix. The separate recordings also allow the frequent backing vocals to shine through.

The matchup of guitarist Mary Timony of Helium and keyboardist Rebecca Cole of The Minders with Sleater-Kinney band mates Janet Weiss (drums) and Carrie Brownstein (guitar) bears forth the same brand of gritty, meaty blues-rock as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, or more recently, The Dead Weather. Sleater-Kinney, one of the grrrl movement's enduring identifiers, put out great albums, but by 2005's "The Woods," it seemed to have run out of ideas.

Ideas are plentiful on "Wild Flag," and the energy is often fierce. Timony and Brownstein form an unholy alliance, the latter with her signature guitar-played-as-bass style and the former with a predilection to reach for the heavy-metal high notes. Together, they rage like Godzilla punching holes in skyscrapers, as on the epic, near 7-minute-long morsel of guitar fury, "Racehorse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Kemper VINE VOICE on December 10, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Okay let's be honest: this is not going to change your life or anything, but it is a solid, honest, rockin' romp and it will be many listens before I tire of it. I have always liked Mary Timony and the music (but not the production, sadly), of Sleater-Kinney (The Woods is a record whose great music is nearly wrecked by the heavy-handed dynamic limiting--the disc has virtually NO dynamic range at all, but I digress....). The production on Wild Flag's CD, however, is delightful. So what do I mean by the word "imperfection" in my title? It is meant as a compliment: there are occasional sloppy guitar riffs, not-quite-together ensemble moments and a bit of singing which we in the biz politely call "pitchy", but doggone it I love it all! I have heard enough recordings on which the performances (if you can even call them performances, what with all the overdubbing, editing, pitch-correction and comping involved), sound like they were stamped out of a factory, all quirks and personality gone; nothing left but sterile perfection that is hardly more interesting than the click tracks they played to. But not here, oh no, these women ROCK and their energy is totally honest. The slight imperfections (and they are slight--just a pinched guitar note here, a not-quite-pitch-perfect vocal note there), are not just acceptable; in my view they are a most welcome commodity. Give me an honest, energetic and fun performance over rote factory perfection ANYTIME. This CD may or may not be great, but it is damn good and I am happy to recommend it.
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