Forth Wanderers, “Forth Wanderers” It’s true; I am a sucker for certain aesthetics when it comes to album artwork, like the artwork of Raymond Pettibon, which was donned on the cover of countless SST Records albums, t-shirts, and flyers that were important to me as an impressionable adolescent. Hüsker Dü, Descendents, Sonic Youth, and Black Flag are just a mere few bands that Pettibon did work for. The SST connection made sense, since Raymond’s brother, Greg Ginn, owned and operated the label while playing with Black Flag. Oh, the now iconic four-bar Black Flag logo? Raymond Pettibon. I knew when I saw his artwork that there was a high probability of enjoying the music behind the sleeve.
Now, Pettibon did not do the artwork for the self-titled Sub Pop debut from the New Jersey-born indie rock five-piece. Songwriter and guitarist Ben Guterl did, and it immediately struck something in me, just as it did for me many a time over in my pre-teen and teenage years. The artwork drew me in, but I stayed and replayed, over and over, for the music behind the sleeve. Forth Wanderers have been making music since 2013, but with their second full-length, they have perfected a classic-sounding record of straight-ahead indie rock in the vein of the heavyweight, canonized greats before them. Ava Trilling’s vocals are subdued, sweetly accompanying the rest of the band, rather than fighting to stay ahead of them. Standout tracks include “Taste,” “Saunter,” and both opener and closer, “Nevermine” and “Temporary,” respectively. I anticipate the album getting many a spin this spring and summer as one of the first great indie rock records of the season.
Forth Wanderers’ self-titled record is available Friday, April 27, via Sub Pop Records on cassette tape, compact disc and on standard black vinyl. Order direct from the label for a shot at a limited Loser Edition opaque orange-colored vinyl while supplies last. Cassette and vinyl versions come with the requisite digital download on your choice of various high-quality formats (320K MP3, FLAC, or ALAC).
Recommended for fans of Jay Som, Built to Spill, Waxahatchee, Modern Baseball, Sorority Noise, Car Seat Headrest, Prawn, or Diet Cig.
Jon E. Lynch[email protected]