Gene Wildest: Ones to Watch with their new release Spectral Terrestrial
Text by: Olivia McAuley
Gene Wildest, a stoner-psych band from Philly, may have just blown everyone out the water, or rather into space, with the release of their second full length and first concept album Spectral Terrestrial. Made up of Dave Ashcraft (drums), Brian Corbett (guitar and vox) Sean Corbett (bass) and Rob Ealer (guitar), the quartet has sonically quantified exactly what I want to smoke weed, and/or cry to.
The full album dropped August 30th, having already been picked up by several major music blogs without solicitation from the band. Having listened to it in its fuzzy, rippy and gripping entirety, I can see why.
The album goes hard, and I mean that on several levels. Spectral terrestrial is by far the heaviest work we’ve seen from the band, with certain riffs posturing towards stoner metal – a stark adjustment from their previous album Everything which had rather firmly planted its feet on softer, alt-ier, ground. This shift was made with intention, and the depth of these latest tracks was done expressly so. The self-described meditation on: “loss and returning from the dead to find your way back home” was written after the death of their friend and former band member Eric Richmann. The formulaic melancholia that has emerged is a feat indeed then, as it flawlessly manages to draw you in, rather than bring you down.
‘Marisol’ for example, the second track on the album, is arguably a perfect example of the band’s evolution towards the heavy. The track is thematically entrenched in an almost Acid King-esque riff. Of course, the band’s penchant for heady pedals, effects and David Gilmore-style guitar solos take us back to their essential psychedelic rock sound. Still, the track is emblematic of the sonically denser direction they’ve taken on this one.
Brian Corbett’s voice is stand out, moving seamlessly over the rhythmic yet insistent guitar lines that take center stage throughout the album. Corbett never gets lost in even the complex math-rock crescendos of their third track “A Flower in a Forest in Bloom” – perhaps a testament to both the artists and production/post.
The album is dynamic and irresolute in the best way possible. I look forward to whatever the band has in store for us next. Check them out.