On their debut EP, the Wildmen do their fair share of running off, like on “Headin’ North” and “I May Not Come Home”. They also wrestle with sticking around on closer “TransCanada”. Whether or not to hit the road is a classic roots-rock trope and this quartet does it service, along with other tales of getting fucked over and fucked up.
John Davy, Andrew Love, Jeff Meldrum and Dave Schneider recorded The Wildmen over a weekend this past September and are debuting the Harvest King Records release tonight, December 21 at the German Club.
Over six songs, they drop mentions of Saskatchewan all over the place, talk about some drugs (“Ketamine”, for starters) and get into some questionable situations, like in “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”, a song seemingly inspired by the movie and novel of the same name.
A lot of the songs are Davy’s show, who you might also know as local singer-songwriter/general music dude John Fettes. He sings lead on four of the six here, with Meldrum and Love getting a tune a piece. Davy brings some of the moodier moments to the EP, like the Tex-Mex inspired “They Shoot Horses”, although Love’s raw vocal’s take on an alt-country lament in “Ketamine” is up there too. Backing harmonies and gang vocals are plentiful; if they’re singing about sad stuff, the Wildmen are still willing to make the song a good time.
They’re adept at rambunctious, freewheeling country-inflected rock ‘n’ roll, creeping on rockabilly with the quick “Road Kings”. That spirit is exemplified on “Headin’ North”, a track where Meldrum takes the verses and Love joins in on the chorus. The song takes things easy only to explode forward.
The Wildmen are playing the Buffalo Jump tonight, December 21 at the German Club. Also playing this edition of the monthly event are the Down Home Boys, Black Drink Crier and B.D. Willoughby.