A Look in The Local Bin: The Conquerors’ Wyld Time

Every so often a band releases a record that perfectly blends melancholy and ecstasy. The Conquerors‘ High Dive Records debut, Wyld Time, is one of those records. From start to finish, its patchwork of fuzz-dusted psychedelic pop steps through time–bridging 60s’ and early aughts’ aesthetics to create something that transcends time-specific conventions. Wyld Time crackles and pops with energy and throbs with endless hooks.

The album begins with the one-two punch of “Yes I Know” and “Wyld Time.” Both tracks work together to glimpse the album’s scope. “Yes I Know” is a slow boil–stitching together a steady bass line to a shimmering riff. The vocals on this track find the sweet spot between elegy and Horatian wisdom. Their delivery manages to balances didacticism with a tonal vulnerability that gives the song a subtle power. “Yes I Know” transitions into the bopping title track. “Wyld Time” wastes no time unleashing its onslaught of sock-hop riffs. The song whips the album into its heat.

These two tracks build into The Strokes meets The Cavaliers meets The Animals feel of “How I Love You” and “Can’t You See.” Both songs stay within the psych-pop register established in the first few seconds of Wyld Time. Yet these songs, in fact all of the songs on the album, approach the genre from different angles. “How I Love You” melodically alludes to the pop that served as the foundation of later rock while “Can’t You See” pays tribute to the Beatles worship that bloomed in the wake of the Liverpool quartet. This approach to psychedelic pop gives Wyld Time an impressionistic feel–one that constantly expands. With each new angle, the album gathers force.

All that said, The Conquerors do far more than simply rephrase past styles. “Turned Me To Stone” is evidence of that. Kicking off the second half of the album, the song begins entrenched in the pop of early Beatles. Yet somewhere along its groove, “Turned Me To Stone” steps out of the Beatles’ shadow, ending the song with a wild, percussion forward explosion. The ability for the band to work within conventions to subvert those very conventions gives Wyld Time a freshness that is rarely found on debuts.

With songs that mostly hover under the three minute mark, Wyld Time is paced exceptionally well. The order of its songs work to establish a cohesion throughout the album without betraying an overarching concept, or at least a concept that isn’t at a meta-level. Wyld Time spins out as a collection of singles–a nod to the construction of early 60s pop albums and label samplers. This structure of organization, along with the kaleidoscopic way The Conquerors approach pop, makes Wyld Time a music nerd’s dream.

Working through several layers of American music while paying exceptional attention to the craft of each song, The Conquerors have created an album that is as timeless as it is rooted in several time-specific aesthetics. Wyld Time is a joyous romp through music history and a highly stylized howl for lost love and the pains of being young. The band is having a few release shows around town, including one at Mills Record Company, so come see them play and pick up Wyld Time.

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