Wild Nothing | Oslo Hackney | 13 June 2016
Jack Tatum last played London three years ago. So he gets right down to business, launching into the most urgent song in the Wild Nothing catalogue, ‘To Know You’. Driven by a relentless, metronomic beat and siren synths, one of the standout tracks on new album ‘Life Of Pause’ immediately signals his intention to make up for lost time.
The sparkling title track of 2012’s ‘Nocturne’ doesn’t match the opener’s intensity but its shimmering guitar riff and incessant refrain of “you can have me” are no less penetrating. Another fresh offering, the keyboard-heavy ‘A Woman’s Wisdom’, lowers the pace and the mood, before the dreamy ‘Live In Dreams’ brings out the sun – musically at least.
Equally diaphanous, the longing ‘Lady Blue’ actually sounds better than it does on the new record, especially when, three minutes in, it suddenly shifts into focus, leading perfectly into the gleaming ‘TV Queen’, with its War on Drugs echoes, and sad-but-sunny ‘Paradise’.
‘Reichpop’, which has touring bassist Jeff Haley and keyboard player Matt Kallman playing double time, showcases the funkier side of Tatum’s recently broadened sonic palette. ‘Adore’ waltzes along until the irrepressible ‘Only Heather’ gives drummer Jeremiah Johnson a good workout and the fuzzed-out ‘Summer Holiday’ hands Tatum and second guitarist Nathan Goodman the opportunity for some psychedelic soloing to wrap up the main set.
Two more offerings from ‘Life Of Pause’, the shoegazey ‘Japanese Alice’ and glistening title track, carry the urgency into an encore triumphantly wrapped up by a feelgood ‘Shadow’ that should tide Wild Nothing fans over for three more years.