Album Reviews

Wild Imaginaries – Shades (EP) REVIEW 2014

1553401_962761257072088_3677883215484882501_oEmerging and non-ignorable San Francisco area group Wild Imaginaries are about to release their first offering to the public, Shades.

Why is this worth paying attention to? Because it’s a beautiful EP; modern, but with a twist.

Leading off with “Little Weight”, this EP may hit a familiar nerve that modern radio has offered for a bit now. An uplifting singalong that harkens back to a bit of Coldplay. It’s a comforting introduction.

But then comes the meat.

Immediately noticeable here are the vocal arrangements and the impeccable guitar tones. One would be a fool to not recognize some U2 influence in the guitar lines, and that’s certainly not a fault. However, don’t be duped by the reference, as there is a whole underlying sensitivity to what this group is accomplishing.

“Rhythms” has a vibe somewhere in between newer Daft Punk and Death Cab for Cutie, and singer Rob Marshall will immediately draw in fans of the latter. Yet, much of the instrumentation pushes into a more complex realm and highlights the missing link between the aforementioned groups and our ears. It’s soothing like Death Cab, jams like Daft Punk, but carries an adventurous element that can’t quite be nailed down.

“Carousels” carries the most U2/Coldplay/Arena Rock gene, ready for a large audience but certainly not lacking sincerity. Well-crafted lyrics and a well-crafted display of emotion. Uplifting and glorious. Be prepared to hear mainstream radio push this one into regular rotation.

But the real winner here is “Push and Pull”, the last of their 5-track debut. It carries a sense of anticipation that does not disappoint when it comes to the payoff. Not in a powerful way, but in a “can’t-stop-bobbing-my-head” sort of way; Guitar paths and tones that make you groove like only Under the Influence of Giants (who morphed to AWOLNATION) has been able to bring in recent years. Our only gripe is that the song has to end at some point.

Bottom Line: Clearly focusing on songwriting, Wild Imaginaries aims for the heart and the audience, but with a depth and sensitivity that is completely lacking in the modern mainstream. As the final chorus of this EP expresses, “Bang Bang go the notes from my throat. Oh, I hope they find their mark.” We hope so too.

Shades will be commercially available on November 18th.



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