You’re not likely to find a better record that encapsulates ’90’s fuzzed out, moody, Alt Rawk better than the latest from Boston’s Idler Wheel. With Run Straight Down, the Boston-based outfit offer up a modern spin on sounds that maybe you grew up with (Like we did!) or are just discovering for the first time. Whatever your experience may be there’s no denying that what Idler Wheel is creating with their music, and especially on Run Straight Down, is both exciting and enduring.
Lead single “Matches” was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of what Run Straight Down has to offer beginning with a syncopated pulsing and Michael Boylan’s harmonious hum from both guitars and in the vocal department for a track that’s immediately unforgettable. “Promise of the Knife” really plants the seed, though, as these fuzzed out swells build a foundation bringing to mind local contemporaries like Eldridge Rodriguez mixed with Pyramid (Who shone with “Babyteeth” on the Observe & Report soundtrack…seek out both that and the movie NOW!) with “Mind” delivering some lo-fi Dinosaur Jr love as the guitars swirl around Boylan’s vox in an idiosyncratic yet still intricate way.
“Divide” starts with some nascent guitars wails before collapsing into a more familiar Alt noise with Boylan’s low vocal tones seeping into the woodwork ever so eloquently, “Armor” gets its’ Interpol on with a bass-led rhythmic onslaught to start before throwing it back to ’90’s shoegaze, and then “Flood” chirps to life with throbbing swells of aural experimentation like this glorious kaleidoscope of colors from the Idler Wheel sonic palette. Then “Open Door” closes this particular, ahem, door for Idler Wheel with a final statement that brings out IW’s more Post-Punk and Goth meanderings for an ’80’s-tinged song that plays like The Cure teaming up with New Order in the present (Think Seventeen Seconds meets Power, Corruption and Lies).