Prog-rockers Wishgift flirt with order and chaos
By CHRIS MILLER
The Red & Black
The line between in and out
of control is delicate, especially
when it comes to hard rock.
Wishgift, a prog rock band
from Chicago coming through
Athens tonight, isn’t just on that
line it is that line.
“I really like that sound of
sudden shifts coming out of the
middle of a riff where you’re
expecting it to resolve a certain
way and then one beat gets
dropped out, or just little things
like doing something three times
instead of four,” said Wishgift
drummer Marc Riordan.
There is no shortage of sud
den shifts in the band’s barrage
The heavily distorted, holler
heavy songs lean more toward a
metal FUgazi than other prog
rock bands that can get so
focused on riffs that they forget
about rock ’n’ roll.
“I think that it’s always been
important to all of us, that it
remains sort of down-to-earth
and driven by instinct and fun
rather than getting too technical
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When: Tonight at 10
Where: Go Bar
and too challenging for the sake
of having a challenge,” Riordan
Wishgift which features
Davey Hart on guitar and vocals
and bassist John Paul Glover
hasn’t been as prolific or tour
heavy as many bands that have
already had their second birth
days, but this isn’t a band with a
catalogue of hundreds of two
work-this-moming kind of songs.
The power of Wishgift comes
from its ability to harness mad
ness while still maintaining sani
ty. The riffs crash into each other
like drunk gutter punks in a
mosh pit, except that the punks
are actually trained dancers. The
pit is a stage and the battle has
been carefully choreographed.
The technique and the energy
are intertwined, and one can’t
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Dawgs-A-Loose, Kaitlin Jones
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live without the other. (To con
tinue the metaphor, the punks
are choreographed, but they are
“We’ve always strung a lot of
riffs together,” Riordan said. “It’s
almost like this sense that
there’s Just too much inside of
you and ... it’s exploding out of
Wishgift has been playing a
seven-song set for some time
now. and Riordan said that’s
purely a function of these songs
being hard to write.
The band utilizes recordings
of its practices to get a feel for
the flow (or anti-flow) of songs
as the band members write them.
“So I’ll listen back to a
recording and that sort of expe
rience of one part slamming
unexpectedly into another part
can shock you into this more
receptive mode to the energy of
the song,” Riordan said.
A two-song vinyl release is
available now, and Riordan said
they made efforts to keep the
feeling of lack of control via over
dubbing. Sometimes something
as simple as bassist Glover’s
voice hollering over the track
Photo Courtesy Wishgift
▲ Hailing from Chicago, prog-rockers Wishgift stress
technique and energy in its ‘holier-heavy’ hard rock.
sounding like a man who just
took a punch to the crotch is all
It’s a dangerous game for a
band, living its life on the verge
of everything falling apart.
Sometimes it’s bad.
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The Red a Black | Wednesday, December 8, aoio
“If you lose control of some
thing it can be like pulling the
wrong pin out of a structure and
the whole thing collapses,"
But sometimes it’s really, real