If there was one record that had to sum up the decade in indie music, 'On Belay Belay On' would be it. It's not as though any bands in particular come to mind when I listen to Wilderness Survival, but it's more like a mesh of past indie bands that I hear. There's the sweet yet flat tracks like We Fall Asleep and Drive Me Wild, the dark and breathy vocals, and quick, often electronic beats. There isn't much that's notably unique about this mix, but the way that this band picks up elements of many different genres and strings them together so smoothly makes the likelihood of someone listening to the whole record instead of just one track that much higher.
Something else that I picked up on pretty quickly was how immediate the songs on this record are. This San Diego-based duo clearly aren't looking for deep, 3-dimensional songs that grow on you over time, but rather catchy songs that anyone can enjoy.
The one thing that kind of annoys me though is something I mentioned before, and that's the dark, slightly raspy vocal delivery, which bothers me on some tracks more than others, like Overnight, I Didn't, and Catch and Release. I just feel like I've heard that voice way too many times before.
Despite its few shortcomings, Wilderness Survival have made one of the most listenable albums of 2010. I can't decide whether this is necessarily a good or bad thing, but all I know is I'll be listening to this album several more times in the coming months. Maybe even in the coming years.
Listen to the album here.
Favorite tracks: All the Ways I Do, Hierarchy, We Cannot Lose, Byzantine Empire, Well Made Ads