There’s another new band in the indie rock scene that’s generating some buzz. It’s composed of brothers Neil and Sumul Shah who go by the guise Wildlife Control. One brother lives in Brooklyn, the other San Francisco, and they collaborate much in the same way the Postal Service does (or did), by sending each other music through the computer. Some writing also takes place together in the same city. The brothers carry out every aspect of their music, from songwriting to engineering and production. They even filmed a music video together on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. They have already hit some pretty big-name venues in New York City, including Arlene’s Grocery and Mercury Lounge.
Their first EP, Spin, was released on March 27th, and its percussion-driven and synth-infused beats, electric guitar riffs, and soaring piano solos garner it a well-deserved place in any music library. The first track, appropriately capturing the instrumental essence of the band’s sound, “Analog or Digital”, is built on pounding guitar and bass, and a kind of ‘90s alt-rock vibe in the vocals. Some stepping piano work comes in about midway and provides a little lick that you might expect from an electric guitar. But this album does not exactly fulfill expectations- in a good way.
“Disguise” kicks off with a grittier than gritty low-end synth riff, but the main melody explodes shortly after, and oddly calls to mind Jamie Cullum’s jazzy pop tunes. The song later opens up to a long, very lounge-y piano solo section atop a walking bass line that leads up to the fade-out. So far the EP is a weird but workable melding of a few genres- rock, electro-pop, and jazz.
The title track hits you in the face with guitar and drum hits on the beat, with a hint of glam in the synths. The verse melody almost instantly grabs, but the chorus, with its “on and on” background vocals is impossible not to jam to. Like “Disguise”, some fairly jazzy, intricate piano improv enters after the second verse, interrupted by the words “Spinnin’ the world for everyone to see”. Then, in stark contrast to the soloistic keys, grungy electric guitar brings the song to its conclusion, hanging on to that last note with a slight buzz of distort.
Wildlife Control’s melodies inspire you to sing along, their beats may bring you to dance. Their piano work is performed with serious chops, the instrumentals, synths and samples mixed with some mean audio engineering skill. The band’s sound is an eclectic mix of catchy vocal melodies, synthesized flourishes, and piano runs evocative of high-end jazz clubs.
Check out Wildlife Control’s website for music and more information: wildlifectrl.com
4/23- Boston, T.T. the Bear’s Place
4/25- NYC, Arlene’s Grocery
5/6- Chicago, Double Door
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