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Wild Flag

4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,269 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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although i never embraced riotgrrl nor its music, i do enjoy grunge, lived in Seattle just out of highschool. this is an album for someone who wants an infusion of new from the roots of Pacific NorthWest alt-rock.

Wild Flag survives,

if you are a stickler for vibrato and vocals, skip it. the harmonies are excellent. carrie brownstein has the starpower and sound of young patti smith. mary timony is in a master class of her own, guitar wise. her voice has improved/matured since Helium, she's willing to take more risks, her vocals are an aquired taste. however when the band harmonizes.. after weiss on drums, timony' guitar, the harmonies are my 3rd fave.

carrie and mary both on guitar make use of alternate turnings to replace any need for bassist. this much enery and power from a band of 4 is excellent.

i give 5 stars because Janet Weiss on drums steals the show.

for the drums the best track is 9.racehorse with Carrie giving it her all. the other long track 4. glass tambourine, is mary timony singing. i enjoy her guitar more than her voice.

this is not music i usually listen to yet I read a quality review from Britain and decided i needed to hear. glad i did.wonderful these 4 people collaborated as a working, touring band prior to releasing the album. all songs written by Wild Flag.

this is on an independent label. its good fun and good rock to dance to.
i am about the same age as Mary Timony at the time she fronted, on lead guitar. We both lived in Boston at the time she fronted Helium. Her vocals are better now and her guitar is virtuoso-like'

Carrie Brownstein sings all my fave tracks. I buy albums, and very few single tracks.
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