By: Dennis Cook
What a goddamn fantastic piece of rock 'n' roll. The Nate Wilson Group come on with the fiery mojo of Free, Move-era Jeff Lynne, early solo David Gilmour (with a few Meddle touches) and more modern kindred spirits like power pop craftsmen Matthew Sweet and Stephen Malkmus – a heavy, melodic thrust & joust that's just plain great listening. Wilson's debut as a bandleader, Unbound, is largely a far cry from his work in Assembly of Dust (there are a few distant echoes on "Justify" & "Unbound"), a denser, harder sound with his strong, delicately edged voice riding an animated surge full of big guitars, big motifs and bold arrangements.
Leadoff track "Hear The Echoes" jumps out with such balls dangling swagger that you're swept off your feet before you know what hit you. If all you know of Wilson is his artful, amicable work in AOD this will rock you back on your heels – gorgeous analog keys, celestial harmonies, giant drums and serious guitar crunch. And the thick joys just keep on rolling, some airier ("The Long Ships"), some as stadium ready as '70s Peter Frampton ("See It Through") but all possessed of remarkable juice, grit and real style. This album should be what we call modern hard rock and tools like Nickelback should be playing the chicken wings bars they so richly deserve. The Nate Wilson Group – Wilson (keyboards, lead vocals), fellow AOD member Adam Terrell (guitar), Tommy Lada (bass) and Tom Arey (drums) – give The Raconteurs and Rose Hill Drive a major run for their money in terms of power, invention, funky sexiness and sheer melodic grace.
At the risk of overselling it, you really need to hear Unbound if you hold any love for smart, beautifully constructed hard rock. From the Swan Song Records style cover down to their dirty jeans and dirtier riffs, the Nate Wilson Group know what long haired boys and lil' baby girls need down deep in their rock souls – heaping handfuls of beauty, truth and gonad-vibrating pleasure. Put another way, perhaps THE finest bong hit opus in recent memory. 'Nuff said.
JamBase | Copacetic
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