Imagine a psychedelic orchestra on LSD, in outer space, and you might just touch the surface of the creative genius that is Oliver Wilde. Now, I’m not suggesting for a minute that Oliver Wilde takes LSD, or any drugs for that matter. But you might want to question his instruments. Post-Frenz Container Buzz begins with lead single "Good Kind Of Froze", a pounding, dirty fuzz introduction that drops into his trademark woozy voice. Just as you start to feel safe in his melodic space-croon, the madness pounds again, each time giving the listener added textures of sounds that create a beautiful confusion. He reignites the delirium once again as the album draws near to its end with "Lucky Strut". But there’s so much to explore, admire, and perhaps never fully understand in the tracks between.
There’s a heavy presence of beats and bass synths throughout "Klookers Feathered Trill", a title inspired by a man Oliver met years ago, who he says taught him the power of metaphor. “He read me a poem that described frost as a feathered trill," he explains. "A trill is a quivering sound, like a violin played as though its fluttering. It has no connection to frost, and yet it captures exactly how frost looks close up."
Things calm down on "Big Black Chunk" as Oliver introduces the acoustic guitar, and even with eerie chord progressions, he manages to find a catchy melody that is sure to win over the hearts of his fans. It’s in this stripped-down song, accompanied by a ruffled drum sound, that you get a real flavour of the lyrical prowess displayed throughout Post-Frenz Container Buzz and Oliver's work in general. “If my life’s a dreadful book then you’re my favourite page, that Flemish calligraphic codex for the red lip stains, I swear I’ll tear it out and read it every single day, my precious lost classic passage getting better with age."
Undressing the issue of suicide, "You’re So Kool-Aid" bursts into life with the sweetest synth hook. It drops wonderfully for a breath at 2:16, before the killer chorus reignites. Oliver says he’s put a pop dress on this track, making it easier to talk about such issues because it’s in a familiar, comfortable, non-aggressive setting. Describing his past work as "bedroom downer pop," the old familiar is present in "Viccan Seeks Meat Parade". The soundscape he creates on Post-Frenz Container Buzz is more refined; the drums drive the song along here, allowing Oliver’s vocals to walk away unscathed from a head-on collision with Nick Drake (with Syd Barrett riding shotgun).
Meanwhile "Bozon" has that hazy Sunday morning feel, (I’m sure that’s been said of a million songs. Sorry Mr Wilde, it was the first thing that came to mind) as if that’s a bad thing. The synth hooks are a delight throughout, but there’s also subtle drum machine beats that mix into the drum rhythm, giving you a real insight into how beats form a huge part of this man’s modern sound. Vocals sway to the groove, then become rap-like, as if he’s had breathing lessons from Courtney Pine. "Smothered" demonstrates the power of metaphors that he’s come to appreciate. After a breakup and a rare cardiac disease that put his career on hold for two years, you can’t help but admire a man willing to share his most intimate fears with the world. "Don’t try and hold me, just fuck me, it's fine. Don’t try and love me, just fuck me, it's fine."
"Dabchick" and "P.Laced C.Austic" sit nicely next to each other in similar space suits, ready for orbit. There are moments when you feel they could burst into euphoric madness and really blast off. Going from the calm to the frantic is certainly a style this man has mastered, though it's lacking here. "Slowcoach" introduces the piano (not the classic grand of course), distant and distorted with sparse acoustic accompaniment. This instrumental, mid-album, allows a few minutes to contemplate the journey you’ve just been on. It’s in the beauty of his piano sound that Oliver drops the mic and leaves the stage with "Goner". His work is done.
Rich in supernova layers of depth and sound, Post-Frenz Container Buzz sets the bench high with its beautiful, uplifting, strange indie pop sound, the “first broken thing I'd loved to death." How great it is to see our local hero getting Radio 1 to think outside the commercial box.
Release: 17th February 2017, Howling Owl Records