The Minneapolis band Of the Wild released the group’s debut EP About on January 27. The band is comprised of Mitch Fedie on the guitar and vocals, Leliani Endicott on the keys and flute, Ken Johnson with the bass and Kevin Anhut behind the drums. This EP is made up of four lengthy tracks that stay true to the band’s overall rock vibe from beginning to end.
While I did find myself wanting more variety in terms of mood at the end of my first listen, there are some really memorable occasions here. Endicott’s flute break on the EP’s opening track “About” fits surprisingly well with the song. Her playing is never overpowered by the rest of the band, nor does it restrict momentum from building into the beaming last chorus of the track.
Vocally, Fedie gives an impressive performance on “Dirty Knees” beautifully matching the aesthetic of the instrumentation with his powerful words, “You wash it, you wash it out again. Because that's what you needed. You're gonna get dirty knees again.”
There is an ongoing theme of change here. In “Time Lends Its Hand” Fedie submits to the inevitability of time when he sings, “No man can escape its plan.” He portrays his reasoning by metaphorically drawing a connection between raindrops and human nature. Just as raindrops are unafraid of their ultimate fate of either diluting water or soaking into soil, humans shouldn't be afraid to approach fate either.
The song also objects to environmental destruction by humans. Fedie sings, “Don't stop it. Try to rock it,” expressing the concept of viewing nature as a home instead of a bank of resources for humans to use at its expense.
He’s asking us to be more selfless regarding all that surround us, nature included. “Change your heart. Won't you lend your ears unto your brothers? All the knowledge they've uncovered they'll impart.” Aside from that being the first time that I've heard the words “unto” and “impart” in a song, these lyrics are impressive. Without being too obvious, Fedie calls on everyone to respect all that inhibit the Earth, while not restricting his selflessness to just human beings.
The musical chemistry within the group is evident through their consistent sound from track to track. Of The Wild has a good time, but what sets them apart is what they have to say. You’ll enjoy this EP with patience. Allow the songs to progress on their own time, and you’ll vibe to them.
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