I highly recommend that you check out Mike’s beautiful (and far-better-written than mine) review of this essential record right HERE.
Mike’s working backwards in his discovery of Bidiniband, first covering 2012’s In The Rock Hall. And now, today, it’s 2009’s The Land Is Wild.
Desert Island Poem has got to be one of my favourite songs ever. They’re skinning and cooking their drummer, worried about whether they’ll get to leave Drumheller (with a shout out to the Royal Tyrrell museum), a plane from Alert crashes…It all just resonates with me and my funny bone, and also the times we ourselves went through Drumheller… just perfect.
This is what I was on about last time, about the perfect Canada in the songs that guys like this write. It’s just endless, their experiences traversing this country multiple times, just soaking in the place and its landscapes and hockey and people, looking wistfully back at their youth, and letting it all come back out in beautiful music. All this, and anybody who can call it “Kwuh-beck” right before a freaking clarinet solo… Cool beans by me, man.
This feel, these stories, this LOVE carries right through the whole album. It’s in the insouciance and sharp elbow dig at what they see, in the acoustic and rawk tracks that are stirring and gorgeous, in the song about how terrible the song is, and all filtered through their hyper intelligence and awareness and a desire to see more. And more! And more!
I could go through this album song by song, but really all you need to do is buy it, play it often, and fall in love every time – just like I do. I fully recommend it.
Mike’s breaking out his comfort zone of the classic rawk blog reviews this year (and good on him for trying it!), so he’s going to be going through the stuff I bought on our trip to Toronto last fall, and we’re going to do simultaneous reviews! My thoughts are below, and I’ll be sure to link to his blog so you can read what he thought, too. Anyway, this is the first record he chose from my shopping scores, and an excellent choice it is.
Now, I should put out there that my bias is long-standing, as a fan of the Rheostatics from way back. So it’s a natural that I’d try to keep up with what the boys have done following the ending of that group.
The songs on this record are about the rock, very Neil Young via Rheos-style. This should come as a surprise to no one, if you’ve been following along with Bidini’s creative output and his influences. Acoustic touches here and there, but big fuzzy rock-outs prevail. Short little punkers and ambitious 8-10 minute creative bursts live happily side by side here, too. There’s even a goof on the 80s. It’s a record that forces you to pay attention, in a good way. You just never know what they’re gonna do next, and that’s a beautiful thing indeed.
Honestly, I can put this album on and play it start to finish and love every track. There’s just something about listening to these guys that makes me think of a perfect Canada. We need this band, we need them in the fabric of what we do and I hope they never stop. These are the hard-working and supremely-talented musicians who are out there right now, making our home great.
My one regret is that he was here in my town (of all places!) a few months ago, and I did not go because I somehow didn’t hear about it until it was too late. Dammit!