Wilco – Schmilco

  • October 21, 2016

Schmilco, the follow-up to Wilco’s 2015’s experimental noise rock album Star Wars, could be seen as the counterpoint to last year’s release, as the songs came from the same recording session. However, the songs on Schmilco are more somber and acoustic guitar driven; low-key with subtle flourishes and introspective lyrics that voice frontman Jeff Tweedy’s thoughts, sorrows and frustrations. Upon first listen Schmilco seems on the minimalist side of Wilco’s spectrum, but with further listens the rest of the band’s contributions become more apparent: Nels Cline’s guitars, Pat Sansone’s and Mikael Jorgensen’s keyboards, Glenn Kotche’s and Spencer Tweedy’s drums, and John Stirratt’s bass all add rich textures. clever melodies and dynamic rhythms to the collection. Album standouts include: the opening track, “Normal American Kids” in which Tweedy reflects on being a teenage stoner with something to prove; the ballad “Shrug and Destroy” which plays off the title of a Stooges anthem, “Search and Destroy”; the low key folk rock shuffle of “If I Ever Was a Child”; the rhythmic lament on “Cry All Day”; the Big Star-esque rocker “Someone to Lose”; and “Locator which takes on an almost Pixies vibe. Schmilco recalls one of my favorite Wilco albums, Summerteeth, in that it reveals more with each spin on the turntable; it is another clever Wilco classic. – Written by JFelton



SIMILAR | Golden Smog, Loose Fur, Tweedy, Uncle Tupelo