The Austin Chronicle

SXSW 2014 Records

Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, March 14, 2014, Music


Wildewoman (Mom+Pop)

Four letters: ABBA. Whereas Lucius' debut EP introduced three pop tunes anchoring October full-length Wildewoman, the Brooklyn fivepiece didn't have the production budget to take dual singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig explosively Swedish à la Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Fixed! Not only does the noirish blond front duo now boom, the group's theatrical flourishes wail like the harmonies howls punctuating the title track ("her smile is sneaky like a fiery fox"). iTunes could even categorize it country-folk, but the surge of Wolfe and Laessig dazzles without eclipsing all else à la Florence + the Machine or Adele. Add electro spank to songwriterish tunes taking pop production to Simon & Garfunkel radio heights, and "Turn It Around" spins heads as well ("she's looking through the wrong end of a telescope"), after which the rush subsides. The minor note taken by the singers on the opening of "Tempest" weakens the knees where Fitz & the Tantrums merely shake hips, while a dose of olly olly oxen free ("Nothing Ordinary") and keening love songs ("Don't Just Sit There") recall late-Eighties Bulgarian women's choir hit Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. (Noon, Austin Convention Center Radio Day Stage)


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