Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Great Wilderness - Dark Horse

Right. Hands up those of you who can tell me about the Costa Rican shoegaze scene?... No?... Well that's probably because there isn't one - well, not much of one anyway - that's according to Jimena Torres, guitarist, backing vocalist and one quarter of explosive San Jose-based girl-group, The Great Wilderness.

Now, frustrated by a lack of domestic opportunities, Torres and the rest of her charges are looking further afield as they bid to spread the gospel of The Great Wilderness to an overseas audience. And judging by their recent output, it's high-time we listened...

Originally formed in 2009, the The Great Wilderness evolved from the ashes of Lolita PiƱata before adding Torres to the existing line-up of Paola Rogue (guitar/vox), Monserrat Vargas (bass/vox), and Andrea San Gil (drums/vox). With influences steeped in the glitterati of British alternative rock (The Jesus & Mary Chain, Ride, MBV) the group have a sound that name checks its heritage, but stops short of imitating it.

It's powerful stuff. Bass-driven, charged with distortion and rich with energy. A brief visit to their MySpace site, unearths some absolute gems. Ada is a growling storm of dueling guitars, smouldering vocals and stinging percussion, whilst Nicholas Cage delves into post-grunge vexation and comes out smiling. It's a triumphant sound; deliberately raw, but polished enough to deliver crafted songwriting through a spectral swarm of noise.

As part of the recent Record Shop Day festivities, the girls released one of their boldest efforts to date. Built around a languid, stylish guitar hook, Dark Horse erupts into a sprawling 6-minute storm of soaring guitars, rumbling bass and lush empyrean harmonies. It's a fabulous statement and one which is sure to gain admiring glances both at home and abroad.

To download and stream tracks by The Great Wilderness, visit their pages at Soundcloud and MySpace.

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