Wild Carnation: Superbus (2023 Vinyl Reissue) (Pine Hill) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, June 21st, 2024  

Wild Carnation

Superbus (2023 Vinyl Reissue)

Pine Hill

Nov 21, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Back in 2006, Wild Carnation released Superbus, only their second album (and last to date). While their 1994 debut, Tricycle, seemed to get some notice and traction in the indie rock press, this one seemed to completely fall off many radars, perhaps because of the 12-year delay or for other reasons. Regardless, that’s a real shame because this album takes Tricycle’s charms and maximizes and exemplifies them, making it their finest work to date and my favorite album by any Feelies offshoot. And yes, most will be drawn to this because of bassist/vocalist Brenda Sauter’s membership in The Feelies from 1983 until 1992 and again since their 2008 reunion. This is no Feelies clone, however.

Rather, this feels like a U.S. take on a lost Stereolab album from their absolute prime (the mid- to late-’90s) with then new keyboardist Anne Hopkins’ organ and the drone/repetitive structures (which go back to The Velvet Underground, one of the primary influences that many of these groups share, of course) adding an element that wasn’t present on Tricycle, making this an absolutely phenomenal release. The lyrics are memorable here as well, with “Saab Story” expressing disdain with those who treat highways and roads with no respect for others.

Since, as mentioned, this was originally self-released in 2006 on their own Lucky Pig label, it was only issued on CD. Surprisingly, New Hampshire-based punk label Pine Hill has thankfully corrected this by reissuing it on an absolutely beautiful purple/pink swirl. Thankfully, all that razzle dazzle doesn’t distract from the fact that even at over 50 minutes of music, this reissue also sounds fantastic (kudos to producer James Mastro as well). This reissue follows last spring’s first-ever vinyl release of Tricycle on Delmore Recording Society, the label that first issued it on CD in 1994. (www.wildcarnation.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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