Review: Webbed Wing, Bike Ride Across the Moon (Self-Released, 2019)

Well, it would appear that my cantankerous old ass needs to be better about following musicians on social media or occasionally Googling people who were involved with albums that I adore to find out what they're currently up to—although, in my defense, I'm pretty sure I've done that a few times in this case, and there's very little information about this project online, which is a real head-scratcher. Because, as many times as I've yelled and screamed about how much I love Daylight/Superheaven, and how Jar is a near-perfect modern classic that should've been absolutely huge, not a single fuckin' person on this planet has mentioned to me in the past three-plus years that there's a new band featuring both Taylor Madison and Jake Clarke called Webbed Wing!? Not even when they released an 11-song full-length—Bike Ride Across the Moon—in god damn 2019, so I didn't find out about it until a few days ago when I just happened to bother reading the responses to a Daylight appreciation tweet. What gives!?

Better late than never, as always, but I have oh-so-many questions! Probably the only one that matters, though, is why in the name of all things holy is this a digital-only release!? I mean, come on, man! I know "the kids" are all about streaming and don't care about "stuff" or whatever, but I'll never be able to shake the fact that it is an insult to excellent music when one is unable to hold it in their hands and lovingly file it away in their collection. And this, my friends, is excellent music, so... to not even be pressed on so much as a cassette? Criminal! Labels are slippin'!

I almost never purchase digital albums, but shelled out for this instantly. It's a more mature and diverse take on the slower/drearier vibe of Ours is Chrome that recaptures some of the energy and immediacy of the Jar era without falling back on that style at all. It's just high-quality "alternative rock" songwriting with much more variety and texture to the delivery from track-to-track, all the while maintaining a cohesive overall aesthetic. There are the brilliantly catchy and up-front tunes like "Bad for Me," "Sometimes," and "Door Creaks Open" (the latter of which also has that Andy Jackson/Hot Rod Circuit type of "twang" to it); the overdriven throb of "Tunnel Vision" and "Anyway"; "Hummingbird" hits on sort of an experimental "bedroom indie" vibe; "One and Only Friend" drones away amidst spacier atmospheres; "Grew a Tail" brings in an almost garage rock feel... there's a lot going on, but everything fits.

I've been pleased to learn that Webbed Wing is currently working on new material, and if it's as good as Bike Ride Across the Moon, it better receive a proper tangible release and more visible attention, or I swear I'm gonna suffer a brain aneurysm...

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