by Michael Ross
Since Wildcatting began playing its ridiculously high positive-intensity shows around town a couple of years ago, punters have demanded this: "Where's the Wildcatting record?" But this is one smart band. Rather than cave to pressure, Wildcatting waited for its fans to get really hungry for recorded songs. And when that hunger level hit the bursting point ... the band waited some more, all the while playing shows and creating an even larger fan base. And then Wildcatting finally made a record — a kick-ass, limited-edition one, no less.
In short, How to Survive a Sneak Attack is mind-blowing. These guys love what they do — more than any other band I've ever seen. No shit. The music can be repetitive, noisy and loud and can take weird twists that might associate more with Yes than Black Sabbath. But it doesn't matter because there's such unhinged joy in every swell, every surprise explosion. And the band is obscenely tight too — no mean feat considering the band's seemingly unconscious musical schizophrenia.
Wildcatting has been playing the shit out of these songs for eons. So every nuance, every turn, is deftly done. And sonically, this home-studio production (at guitarist Scotty Iulianelli's place) is a treat for the ears. There are horns on two tracks ("46di" and "Beefing") provided by Detroit session men Sons of Baythom, and the record's filled out with some of the best "found sounds" ever to make it into a rock 'n' roll song. Highly, highly recommended.
Wildcatting is nominated for Best Band to See Drunk at this week's Hamtramck Music Awards, Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Painted Lady.
Mike Ross writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.