Nate Wilson Group: Unbound

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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[Published on: 1/21/09]

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Bill Clifford starstarstarstarstar Wed 1/21/2009 08:01AM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Spot on DC. You know what? I knew this CD was going to be right up your alley. For everybody else, yea, it's that good! Get it. And if nothing else, SEE THIS BAND LIVE. This band will really "rock you back on your heels." Copacetic indeed.

TraderDan (djc) starstarstarstarstar Wed 1/21/2009 09:14AM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

TraderDan (djc)

Wow Dennis, you put into words what I have been struggling with for months now... thank you!! Now every time someone asks me what is so special about this Unbound album, I can just direct them to this article.

And as always, just like Bill proclaims above, the single greatest thing anyone out there can do for their rock sould is to SEE THIS BAND LIVE.

MongrelPiano starstarstarstarstar Wed 1/21/2009 12:04PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Excellent review, digs at Nickelback are ALWAYS appreciated...

johnnygoff starstarstarstar Sat 1/24/2009 08:09AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


thanx for the review Cook. If you dig it, I'll dig it. I respect your CD reviews for that reason. Were you an AOD fan?

futhepharmer starstarstarstarstar Mon 1/26/2009 09:19AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


This is absolutely the best album of recent months. I hear Pink Floyd all over this thing and the textures are just amazing. first track starts off with distorted trash-can drums and a hard core riff and then when it transits into the chorus the drums clean up and lush layered vocals go over the's incredible to say the least.

This CD just keeps making it's way back into my player.

twill2525 star Thu 7/30/2009 06:17AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I noted some errors in your review of the NWG album, unbound. I have corrected those errors and re-posted the review in this post :

To begin: Nate Wilson is a talented musician who writes excellent songs. Music geeks have had conversations about what could be, if Nate Wilson took time from AOD and created his own band; the boundaries he could push musically would be amazing. And Nate attempts to do just that. On his new album, Nate Wilson takes the music model of 1970's "stoner rock" and attempts to put his rubber stamp on it.

However, despite his amazing skills he adds nothing, and comes of sounding like a cheap rip off of artists that created the foundation for a genre of music to be based off.

Since the 70's stoner rock has progressed with bands like Kyuss, Monster Magnet and Queens of the Stone Age. This album reverts the process and adds nothing new to the mix.

Thank god for Adam Terrell on guitar; he is the only thing that makes this band worthwhile. If your still stuck in the cross roads between freedom rock and the 1970's this album is for you. If you need to bet on a band to win the next high school rock off, this would be it.

If you expect an alternate progressive take on a well worn genre, from otherwise talented musicians, look elsewhere.

A starting point would be this website