Nashville’s The Wild Feathers may play music closer to Americana than traditional punk rock, but they sure have stuck closely to the DIY ethos that helped launch the punk movement.
Their fourth studio album, Alvarado, was self-produced in part out of necessity. Their major tour with Blackberry Smoke was shut down because of COVID and they had just split with their label, so the band hunkered down back at home. The time off gave them the opportunity to sift through some old demos and songs that never made it onto records, so they pulled together a rarities album (put out as Medium Rarities, naturally). Rested and bored they decided to get to work on their next album, forgoing a producer and traditional studio and handling it all themselves. Four days and a lot of beer and grilled meat later, they had a 14-song record.
“We’ve always written and demoed new songs in a cabin outside of town and then gone into the studio to record the album,” said guitarist/singer Ricky Young. “This time, we decided to take the studio to the cabin and produce it ourselves. We’ve never been more proud of a collection of songs because it feels and sounds exactly how we wanted it to. No outside input or opinions, just the five of us in a room together.”
The result is more dynamic than anything they have put out to date. While they’ve never been a band to lacquer on the polish in the studio, there is a rawness and immediacy to Alvarado that has never been as obvious before on any of their earlier efforts. The driving guitar heavy “Side Street Shakedown” is solid proof that this is much more than just another traditional Americana band. And with the very next song, a more stripped-down steady rocker “Out On The Road,” the band sound like they’re covering a Waylon classic (complete with the dirty, twangy electric guitar solo smack in the middle).
The album ends on the Graham Parsons-like “Another Sunny Day,” a sweetly addictive singalong that could easily fit alongside Dave Hause or Chuck Ragan on any folk punk’s playlist. And two albums later, the band is finally able to get back on the road, this time launching a headlining tour where they can properly showoff these new songs.