Album Reviews

Wilson’s Reservoir

The Last Will and Testament of Buck Baker

Artist:     Wilson’s Reservoir

Album:     The Last Will and Testament of Buck Baker

Label:     Independent

Release Date:     11/18/2016

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Wilson’s Reservoir are a profoundly different kind of band, one rooted in the psychedelia of the ’60s, the cosmic pretence of the ’70s, the so-called New Romantic ideals of the ’80s and the cross-genre stylistic shifts of today’s more daring auteurs. For that reason alone it’s hard to get a handle on their intentions. The postured approach taken by singer/guitarist Ben Wilson suggests some sort of weird hybrid that’s equal parts Arcade Fire and Echo and the Bunnymen, with the band’s undulating instrumentation engaging in more of a cosmic mix. When the band’s at full throttle, as on opening track “Necessary” and “Gentleman John” (accompanied by the self-effacing refrain “I’m a bad man”) they come close to making a mesmerizing impression. On the other hand, the morose musings of “Buck Baker,” the deep desire inherent in “Two Rights” and the slinky hip hop that drives “Cold Hearted Woman” serve simply to muddle any instant impression. Mostly though, The Last Will and Testament of Buck Baker sounds like a work in progress, the result of a group still searching for its sound, a band more intent on creating feeling out of frenzy, and that makes Wilson’s Reservoir one intriguing ensemble.

—Lee Zimmerman

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