Wrinkle Neck Mules

The Wicks Have Met

by Mark W. Adams

5 November 2007

 

Richmond, Virginia’s Wrinkle Neck Mules have returned with their third album, The Wicks Have Met—thirteen songs that, like 2006’s Pull the Brake, meld bluegrass and rock n’ roll in country anthems and twangy, slow-burn ballads. But, this time ‘round, the lyrics are less than complex and it takes more than a few listens to pluck the album highlights from the general blur of the album’s basic alt-country blueprint. One highlight is Mason Brent’s mandolin, which plays a more central role on The Wicks. It lends a jaunty Nickel Creek feel to the lyrically dark “Black Skies for the High and Mighty” and, paired with an accordion, creates the poignant landscape of “Chemical Dependence”. Elsewhere, the textured and stately “Bottomland” is a spiritual cousin to Pull the Brake‘s “Lowlight”. Channelling Crazy Horse, the band employs droning repetition to great effect on the seven-minute “Ursa Major”, while the brisk “The Whistler Knows Best” reveals the Mule’s comfort with straightforward bluegrass. And, as the album winds down, “Swagger & Honesty” provides a reminder about simplicity’s appeal, as drums and harmony singing carry the tune.

The Wicks Have Met

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Call for Essays on Topics in Culture; Present, Past and the Speculative Future

// Announcements

"PopMatters (est. 1999) is a respected source for smart long-form reading on a wide range of topics in culture. PopMatters serves as…

READ the article