Say Psych: Album Review: WIBG – Winnie & The Nihilist

Rating: 8/10

WIBG, formerly known as Wooden Indian Burial Ground, are one of America’s finest garage rock offerings and they emerge from the Portland undergrowth to offer their third album, Winnie & The Nihilist, being released by Belgian DIY label EXAG Records.

WIBG are in a state of designed perpetual flux, but since 2012 have found steady ground with Justin Fowler and Dan Galucki continuing to compose shimmering, yet spasmodic psychedelia. In 2016 they were joined by Nathan Moore and Cory Gray and the quartet have found an accepted form of chaotic cohesion. 2016 LP How’s Your Favourite Dreamer? also released on EXAG saw them shoot to awareness and they have toured on the back of its release, ever increasing their fan base.

Opening with title track ‘Winnie & The Nihilist’, the nine track offering wastes no time in asserting its presence. Its noise funk beginning and multi vocal approaches creates a swaying jive before the temp slows mid track to a rolling crawl. ‘Sunshine’ ups the anti and provides a dose of California vibes with its surf rock rolling notes and bouncy countenance, aptly named it seems. ‘Turned On & Terrified’ continues this theme but adds fuzzy guitar and interesting synth noise randomly dispersed throughout the track. ‘Dead Moon Night’ channels some fine punk and combines with a haunting western inspired guitar riff and a throbbing bass line.

‘Allison’ returns to surf rock origins but adds some more traditional psychedelic vibes in the shape of a multi-instrumental, with everything working in unison to create a dreamy soundscape. ‘Girls on Bikes’ with its provocative lyrics is a lot of fun whilst ‘Sloth Moth’ utilises an organ synth effect to achieve depth and a somewhat sinister edge; in fact not dissimilar to that used by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. ‘Somebody Else’ serves as a brief, intense respite from the deeper tracks it sides with. Concluding ‘Never The Same #2’ draws the album neatly to a close, returning in many ways to the feel created at the start of the LP and the noise ending perfectly suits the DIY approach conveyed by the album as a whole.

WIBG use layers of sound which evade focusing on any individual elements thus creating a buoyant whole. They create something more than songs with their playful traversing of genre and sound, unafraid to reach for the higher echelons of musical complexity.

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