Idiot Pilot is a one of the many turn of the century “indie” rock groups that is known for its eclectic tastes of post-rock atmospheric harmonies, digitally steady rhythms, and vocals that range from screams to whispers.
Successfully refitting the age-old stereotype of full-member bands, vocalist Michael Harris and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Daniel Anderson, have befit the new school music method which only requires a guitar and a laptop.
The proof of this achievement lies in a quick listen of their sophomore effort entitled “Wolves,” released on Reprise records.
“Wolves” is a part of the new wave caravan of groups, such as Muse or The Postal Service, that finds a steady balance between pop culture influence and new styles of making music.
By blending elements from older bands like U2 and the digital nuance of newer groups, the dynamic duo that is Idiot Pilot have successfully fit themselves into a category of music that has proven to be pleasing to the ears of the middle-of-the-road listener.
For some, this may be a welcomed return to the mediocre mainstream of alternative electro-pop dedication.
For others “Wolves” could be considered a crowning achievement merely for its unique production value.
The fact of the matter is that too many bands these days are without actual purpose, inspiration or direction, regarding both lyric and composition.
“Wolves” is an album that does allow even the most critical of listeners to sit back and question motive and method, but does not attempt to stretch beyond that point.
Despite the explicit and gratuitous use of electronic synthesizers and drum machines that abound, the music amounts to nothing more than three chord melodies that have been used and played out over and over again by bands like +44 and Fall Out Boy.
The lyrics, much like the formulaic nature of the music, border on teenage gallantry and angst.
Lines like, “The wolves have finally shown their teeth, and filled our perception. With a menacing howl and a snapping jaw, we will concentrate on ruining your face, concentrate on making love,” from the song titled “Cruel World Enterprise” proves the point that vicious lyric accompanied by overtones of screaming does not always attest might or musical force.
In spite of the derivative nature that “Wolves” seems to embody, it does have certain positive, musically diverse aspects as well.
On “Wolves,” Anderson uses a limited host of cameo appearances by talented and contemporary musicians and producers to help give the album more depth.
Ross Robinson who has worked with At the Drive-In and Korn, supplied his veteran skills of production, while Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker of Blink-182 and +44, supplied musical accompaniment on various tracks that had live drumming and bass lines such as “Elephant.”
This album proves that Idiot Pilot and musicians of a similar sound and musical scheme have created a unique path on an all too familiar stomping ground in the new musical world of the 21st century.
Anderson and Harris have created borders for themselves and the music they make. Within those boundaries they may seem authentic, but the harsh truth is that outside that musical landscape, bands like Idiot Pilot and albums like “Wolves” are a dime a dozen.