Live Review: Newark Wilder’s Album Release Show At The Drunken Unicorn


Can we call Newark Wilder Atlanta’s rock prodigies? With being so young and having already recorded their first album, the sky seems to be the limit for what frontman Benjamin Kinzer and the rest of his band will charm Atlanta’s rock scene with next.

Newark Wilder Album Release-12Newark Wilder graced the Drunken Unicorn stage with everything from post-punk, new wave and garage rock. The band cites influences of everyone from Atlanta’s Small Reactions to experimental rock group Can, creating a sophisticated twist of genres. It’s a beautiful thing seeing a band that’s youthfully centered and having the ability to form and craft their sound into whatever they want it to be, not entrapping themselves to one thing.

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Newark Wilder’s release show at the Drunken Unicorn was a mixed crowd of family, friends and fans of the “underground” Atlanta rock scene. Newark Wilder released their debut album Vanessa Atalanta on March 18th via The Cottage Recording Co.

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With the band’s recent release you can hear their playfulness on the album. Newark Wilder’s first single “Steven Loves My Eyes” delivers fast paced rhythm of the drums. The loud, fuzzy guitar gets right in your face, all while Benjamin gives you this rather intentional bored whine like Paul Banks of Interpol. Newark Wilder caresses you with moody lyrics while the band combs through never-ending genre blending from the sometimes eery guitar to something straight in your face. You can’t get used to one sound or another with this record; it leaves you slightly bewildered as to where they will go from here. The tracks “Nemo” and “Pharma Girl” mood sticking builds of the guitar and transitions of tempos are eerily similar to that of Interpol’s earlier albums Antics and Our Love To Admire while marrying an 80’s style new wave sound like Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures. Vanessa Atalanta marries the sounds of bands of the past while having something a little more clean and refined and slightly less dreary.

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Newark Wilder flooded the room of the Drunken Unicorn with guitars crawling the walls like its trying to escape while the rhythm of the drums and bass kick you straight in the chest. This is Atlanta rock and roll as we know it, screaming guitars and loud pounding drums; this is the passion more than its noise that surrounds the city. Newark Wilder is fully tapped into what the music in this city is all about. The band never wavers from the intensity; they bury you with it as they wail on to their melancholy sound with nothing to lose. The band hammered through their set with the entire six songs off their album, also bringing in a new song and a cover of Drakes “Hold On, We’re Going Home.”

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You forget just how young this band is and maybe it should be forgotten honestly, as this is a community more about talent than age restriction, right? The band closes with the final track of their album “There Is No Blue Without You” with a heavy intensity to each chord. Newark Wilder is the future of the Atlanta Music scene that leaves you only wanting more.


Additional photos from Newark Wilder’s Album Release Show at The Drunken Unicorn:

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– All photos by Mike Gerry.

– Author: Lisa Parish


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Writer for OpenEars Music. Nothin' beats a live show!

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