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Album Reviews

Wild Nothing: “Gemini’’

By Luke O'Neil
February 8, 2011

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The musical space-time continuum is on schedule; the current temporal zeitgeist has US indie bands mining the hazy, drugged-out blur of turn-of-the-’90s England for inspiration. Virginia’s Wild Nothing pushed themselves to the forefront of that shift last year with their debut, “Gemini.’’ Actually, there is nothing forceful about this album, now being rereleased on a wider scale. The execution here is more a progression of chemical moods achieved through production, the reverb thicket of layered synths and delay, and bleached-out vocals mixed down like the persistent murmuring of a waking dream. Band principal Jack Tatum relies on the gurgling of his guitar leads to carry the songs forward, keeping the vocal turns reserved and detached, save on the captivating and melodic “Chinatown.’’ On “My Angel Lonely,’’ an echoing guitar line de-ices the foggy windshield of the arrangement, and on “The Witching Hour’’ a chiming delay pattern bubbles beneath heavily effected drums and droning vocal sighs. Taken as a whole, it’s like listening at the wall in a rehearsal space to the band two doors down — practicing 20 years ago.

ESSENTIAL “Chinatown’’