From the seaport of the Country’s west coast off the Gota Alv Rver in the major city of Gothenburg, Ill Wicker are a six-piece band that carry the torch of the Psych and Acid Folk sounds of the 1970s. They have this essence between Comus, 9:30 Fly, Fuchsia, Spirogyra, Forest, and Trees. The band’s second album entitled, Untamed released this year and a follow up to their 2014 debut, Under Diana, is for me, one of the scariest, enthralling, and bewitching albums I’ve listened to this year.
I first heard some of their music on their bandcamp website and was just spellbound and I went ahead and bought the album on The Laser's Edge. And let me tell you, if you are ready for Halloween, then this is the perfect album for October of this year. Released on The Sign Records label, and recorded during the autumn of 2015 at Silence Studio in Koppom and mixed in Ekskogen, just imagine the chill coming down your arms and spine the moment you put this on from start to finish and knowing that this is not your typical Folk album. As the title on the back cover suggests, Free as Souls, Out of Flesh Crawled!
You have these bursts of creepy acoustical backgrounds, fiddle, percussion, and late ‘60s organ vibration that sounds like the soundtrack of between Alejandro Jodorowsky and Czech filmmaker Jaromil Jires collaborated together to create a film together set by chilling psychedelic-progressive folk on The Charm on your Chest. The 3/4 time-signature waltz on the title track unveils some of the vocals going through a Leslie speaker and resembling the styles of Roger Wotton, Celia Humphris, and Maddy Prior with ascending rhythms and the fiddles at the last 2-minutes goes into chilling improvisations.
Silent Impulse sees Ill Wicker flex their take of the darker hypnotic twisted compositions of the late Syd Barrett and delving into the territory of The Madcap Laughs-era as if he had continued the melodic arrangements as if you can imagine both Barrett and Comus working together to create a mysterious version of Golden Hair. It’s not until the last 3-minutes becomes this intense climatic dense as the rhythm changes before the fiddle gets down into a dramatic leap followed by captivating acoustic guitars and percussion heading into the end.
What I love about the track, Earth Child, it’s not just the energy, but to give at first the homage to Vivaldi as the six-piece take their instruments for a push as affections on here, shows how much ill Wicker are having a blast. And of course a nod to the classic, Drip Drip. It’s not ill Wicker being retro, but honoring the legacy of Comus and staying true to the legacy of the band’s obscure gem of the First Utterance period.
Ill Wicker’s Untamed is not an easy album to listen to. It’s not for the faint of the heart, but it’s a big gigantic step for the six-piece to take the Acid-Psychedelic Folk genre up a notch. So as I’ve mentioned about the five bands of the Acid-Folk genre, if you love the scene, again, you are warned. And just be prepared to turn the lights off with a candle burning bright for the chilling compositions of ill Wicker.