Ready your flag kitsch and shine your two-steppin’ boots! On the tails of Mumfordcore comes a new wave of Americana, led by a fresh crop of bands you’ve never heard of. Among them are the adorable collective of white dudes known as The Wild Feathers, making their self-titled debut on Warner Brothers, and currently traversing the US with Willie Nelson. If their Instagram is to be believed, these guys are having a bodacious time rockin’ out all over this great nation– and they’re probably a hop-skip and two festivals away from dominating your local rock station.
While the record is far from world-shaking, The Wild Feathers is a non-offensive amalgam of classic influences, like a hotel breakfast buffet that shocks you by not totally sucking. Only, in this case, the eggs are Tom Petty, and the danish are The Allman Brothers Band. But the trace elements of Ryan Adams, Drive-By Truckers and even Old 97s, make this album old country rock with shiny new shoes. Lead single “The Ceiling” is wisely chosen-– plucky and upbeat, but with some wistfulness and a big crowd-vocal chorus that is perfectly attuned to today’s radio trend. We humans like to sing in big groups, you know!
Bluesy-goes-jammy “Hard Times” is some standout fun, reminiscent of fellow buffet band (though, this one was created strictly for cinematic purposes) Stillwater. Likewise, opening track “Backwoods Company” shows off their rougher edges in a pleasant and groovy way. Overall, the more narrowly country pieces err on the dull and sleepy side, and the songs with a little more rock to ‘em pack a nicer flavor and feel far less derivative. Altogether, this is a solid, danceable effort from a band that seems like a good hang. If you have the chance to catch up with them as they circle the globe, maybe gun for sharing an aftershow beer; it’s only a matter of time before some single sweeps them off into the V-V-VIP section of Coachella forevermore.