There is nothing more riveting to the ear than a solid rock n' roll album propelled by a witty back-story. Ask the Portland, Oregon psychedelic garage-rock band, WIBG. Their latest album, Winnie & the Nihilist, pulls from every avenue that made rock n' roll brash and obnoxious. Additionally, the album's name was derived from an odd happenstance- uniting singer/guitarist Justin Fowler's midst of songwriting with an inflatable palm tree thief named Winnie.
Having formed in 2008 as a multi-instrumental duo of Fowler and his reminiscent lover, Judy, WIBG was nothing more than a pass-time for musical romanticism and amusement. However, the band's momentous beginning was launched with some friends approached Fowler for a possible revival of WIBG. In 2012, the band recorded their first eight songs in Fowler's living room - and since then - the band has released two EP and a 2016 album, How's Your Favorite Dream?.
Winnie & the Nihilist is a raw and shape-shifting collective encompassing the gritty acid-induced era of 60's garage and psych rock. "Winnie & the Nihilist" opens the album with a grim medley of valiant riffage, dynamic drums, potent bass-lines and a blanket of harmonic vocals. The song shifts from hook-laden chops with periodic jazz sections, to an all out jam basking in psychedelic spontaneity.
WIBG kicks things into high-gear on "Turned On & Terrified," "Sunshine" and "Girls On Bikes," tapping into their punk rock tendencies. Fowler's vocals ricochet over slabs of snappy drums, rhythmic guitar chops, and bobbing bass-lines. Jammy interludes often cut in - evoking similarities to the twilight-esq soundscape of Thee Oh Sees.
"Sloth Moth" is a massive explosion of mathy rhythms propelled by a mish-mash of unhinged drums and sinister guitars. For a band that rarely practices, each track on Winnie & the Nihilist comes together tightly- yet loosely impromptu. From the bright garage-beats to menacing jam oddities, listeners should expect the unexpected.
Listen to "Sunshine" and "Turned On & Terrified" below: