Album review: The Fresh & Onlys, “Wolf Lie Down”

by Jon E. Lynch

The Fresh & Onlys, “Wolf Lie Down”

Available: Friday, Aug. 25, via Sinderlyn Records on compact disc and standard black vinyl. Pre-order directly from the band and/or label for one of the 300 sharp, limited-edition Clear Vinyl versions. As is customary, vinyl purchases come with a digital download of the album for whatever device you see fit when not spinning the record at home.

Fall is here. Not just because the kiddos are heading back to school, and not just because the last couple weeks have been welcomely crisp first thing in the morning, but because of the noticeable up-tick in record releases. I recently had a conversation with a local musician regarding which season is better for record releases, spring or autumn. There is perhaps a more noticeable push to release records in the spring, in advance of summer tours, but the sentimental side of me believes autumn to be more fruitful for new record releases. Or, perhaps, it is simply the staggering list of releases THIS fall that is swaying my answer. This Friday alone, fans are treated to new albums from Gogol Bordello, The Legendary Shack Shakers, Iron & Wine, Liars, OC’s (formerly Thee Oh Sees) in addition to The War On Drugs and Queens of the Stone Age, as Cooper pointed out. The last two weeks saw Grizzly Bear, Downtown Boys, UNKLE, Guided by Voices, Oneohtrix Point Never, Rainer Maria, David Rawlings and Guantanamo Baywatch all with new releases. Again, staggering. So get out and support your local independent record store. Don’t be one of the curmudgeonly, lazy, and poorly informed many that offhandedly quip that there is no good new music being made today. Such a statement is made by those simply not paying attention.

Wolf Lie Down is the first proper album in three years from San Francisco’s The Fresh & Onlys. The album opens with a statement wall of sound squall from lead guitarist Wymond Miles and the melodic baritone croon of guitarist/vocalist Tim Cohen. There is a sense of urgency and propulsion that moves the record through roughly 40 minutes and eight tracks. Tracks took initial form at Kelley Stoltz Electric Duck studios, while most of the recordings were laid down at Miles’ home studio. While Cohen and Miles handled most duties on the record, they did enlist former drummer James Kim as well as touring drummer James Barone for some cuts and mixing duties. Still present is the jangle, pop, and distortion that established fans might have come to expect and that new fans will find undeniable.

Recommended for fans of Woods, Real Estate, Alex Bleeker and The Freaks, Magic Trick, White Fence, Yo La Tengo, or Avi Buffalo

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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