Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Adam Selzer, (M Ward, Blind Pilot, Decemberists, etc) Wild Pack marks the amalgamation of different sounds and influences by the Portland folk-rock band, along with an array of guest vocals that capture the essence of freedom on the open road.
Opener Record Time immediately establishes the thick Americana/Country theme, with its echoing build-up that subtly launches with twangy guitar riffs and timid vocals; harmonised with precision. Singles Devils Kin and San Luis Obispo are both catchy as hell and merge rock and roll with country — more so in the latter — and only heightens the “Into the Wild” theme.
While the first third of the record is upbeat in stature, the tempo is slowed in title track Wild Pack; its heartfelt harmonica and reverbed vocals are harrowing, while Skin and Bones sees the return of the upbeat, Dylan-esc vocals hovering effortlessly over folky-acoustic guitar riffs. As the album journeys into its final third, we see the addition of bongos in Losing All My Common Sense that create an ethereal sound, transcending into the roots heavy, foot stomping, vocal-less yeehah of a closer Low Blues.
So has the itch been scratched? Quiet Life have not only successfully pushed this Americana trend, but have merged it with an array of other southern influences that definitely gets the toes tapping and fingers clicking. Wild Pack is fun, upbeat and captures a sense of freedom and the wilderness. While the band have been contrary to their name, embarking on yet another tour with the likes of The Head and The Heart, it’s easy to see where this easy-going sound has come from. A massive gold star if ever there was one to give.
By Josie Faulkner
The awesome video for 'San Luis Obispo'