Fourth studio album from harmonious, southern rockers.
In December 2020, having just independently released ‘Medium Rarities’, an odds-and-ends compilation which included three self-produced new songs, The Wild Flowers convened in a pre-Civil War built cabin near Vanleer in Tennessee to put together the ideas and songs for their fourth studio album. Eschewing the need for a fancy studio, the band set up their recording equipment in the cabin and decided to produce their new album themselves. Fourteen songs were put together over the course of just four days, 12 of which made the final cut, with the voices of Ricky Young, Joel King and Taylor Burns combining harmoniously across them.
The title track was originally written for their self-titled, debut LP in 2013 and is the oldest song on the album. “Alvarado”, written by Ricky Young, takes its name from a street in Los Angeles, where there’s a Burrito King restaurant, the first one to open in the city in 1968. However, rather than fast food the song invokes images of desert towns and oceans. ‘Over The Edge’ ponders the breakdown of the US’s socio-economic and political systems to the point of no return. It tries to provide a wakeup call, although the chorus ominously predicts: “Wе’ve gone too far to go back, We don’t know how to turn it around, We’ve gone too far I think that we’re, Going over the edge, going over the edge”.
‘Out On The Road’ chugs along nicely and features twangy guitar parts. It paints a picture of how touring can get to a band, with countless truck stops, radio promos, as well as limited time to see friends and family after the gig, which leads to the fraying of relationships. It’s ironic that the band found time to write the song following the rescheduling of a major tour with Blackberry Smoke because of the pandemic.
The album finishes with the catchy ‘Another Sunny Day’, a song which wouldn’t be out of place on a Gram Parson’s album. It ends the record on an optimistic note: “Rain is falling on my back porch, But out my front door, it’s a sunny day, There’s pain in my past, but I’m moving forward, I said thank you, Lord, for another sunny day”. Whilst there’s a certain formula to the songs on ‘Alvarado’, it’s one that works and, more importantly, it’s heartfelt.