Friday, December 31, 2010

GEMINI - Wild Nothing (2010)

Wild Nothing is the recording moniker for Jack Tatum, an eclectic and promising young musician whom, despite having just recently graduated from high school, has already been a contributing member of two other indie acts of note.

On Gemini, Tatum makes his first solo foray into the world of shoegaze, producing a solid, consistent work that mixes up textures surprisingly well, chimes and shimmers in all the right places, and in its best moments bears a fleeting resemblance to the poppier, less guitar-driven numbers from the Stone Roses' debut. 

It should have immediate appeal to hardcore fans of the C-86 genre.

For those with only a passing interest in shoegaze, I'm not so sure. 

Good, but never great, the truth is that there are a lot of present-day bands making very similar music, from the U.K.'s A Sunny Day In Glasgow to Sweden's The Radio Dept. to New York's The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart to Deerhunter side-project Atlas Sound, and they all do it a little bit better. 

Tatum lacks the voice to deliver the soaring, soothing harmonies A Sunny Day In Glasgow, The Radio Dept., and The Pains bring to their work, and as varied as the instrumentation is on Gemini, he's not yet in Branford Cox's league as a musical texturist.

So, in the end, a low mild from me. 

I like Gemini, it's a decent, appealing listen, and my cherry picker selections are definitely worth hearing, but it's an album that never truly takes flight, and unless you're a C-86 completist, there are stronger options right now.

Status: Mild Recommend.

Cherry Picker's Best Bets: Summer Holiday, O, Lilac, The Witching Hour, Chinatown.

Here's a live on-air rendition of Summer Holiday.

Component Breakdown:
1. Live In Dreams - 7
2. Summer Holiday - 8
3. Drifter - 6
4. Pessimist - 6
5. O, Lilac - 7
6. Bored Games - 6
7. Confirmation - 6
8. My Angel Lonely - 7
9. The Witching Hour - 8
10. Chinatown - 8
11. Our Composition Book - 8
12. Gemini - 6
Intangibles - Average to Low

What are your thoughts on Wild Nothing's Gemini?  Let readers know!

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