The Pure Pop Pub
January 2011

You gotta like a power pop act that comes out with a record seemingly every year.

You gotta love said act when the albums just keep getting better.

Album number three from the Bores builds upon the musical success that was last year's We Think Alike, itself one of the Pub's Top 5 albums of 2010. But, where that effort played around with a softer, more ethereal quality, Welldone & Charred rocks more. Oh my, how it rocks. "Biology" is an "everything and the kitchen sink" kinda production that will have even the most jaded (or sedentary) person up on their feet. Yes. It makes me want to dance. You got a problem with that? "Freake" is another great rocker with a lyric about the oddly appealing dorky girl a lot of us wanted to get to know better in high school. (Why am I thinking about Winona Ryder in the movie Lucas?) "Prettyhead" builds up a nice head of steam as well, though in many ways the most interesting of the harder tracks is the finale, "Same Time Tomorrow." Whatever I was expecting on this album it wasn't to hear Bores' lead singer John Whildin channel his inner Weird Al Yankovic, and to do so perfectly. Though I'd challenge anyone to sing the lines...

That guy hasn't got a clue
his hair's got a lot of mousse
and I doubt that he knows kung fu

...without reminding everyone of Weird Al. It certainly helps the song is a riot first note to last. The album also features the Bores' patented slightly funky groovy sound on tracks like "Making a Sun" and the great "Expect Me Now." Strangely, the absolute best moment on the album may be the track "Band of Thieves" which contains echoes of English folk music... medieval English folk music at that. Add ghostly guitar sounds and a wonderful backing vocal (by Lina Chern who deserves a shout out here), and the song takes on a haunting quality all its own.
This is a great album

- Rich Horton


Absolute Powerpop
January 2011

Welldone and Charred - John Whildin continues to maintain an almost Robert Pollard-like level of prolificacy with his third full-lenghth (on top of an EP) in approximately three years as Wild Bores. It's more of the fine power pop we've come to love on the previous releases, with maybe a bit more of a rock edge. In fact, the Pollard comparison applies to the music as well as "Expect Me Now" has a Guided by Voices feel to it, while "Biology" has hooks galore to go with its start/stop guitar riffage. Other standouts include the 80s-inspired "Forward is Backwards", the bright pop of "Freake" and the Matthew Sweet-like "All Fall Down". Never a Bore, Whildin has proved he's good for 10-12 fine tracks a year.

- Steve Ferra


Powerpopaholic
January 2011

Power pop veterans Wild Bores are back and the duo of John Whildin and Brian Chard concentrate their third album on strong melodies with toe-tapping rhythms. Starting with the up-tempo "Expect Me Now" its similar to The Dbs or Big Star with it's catchy base line. Crunchy guitar riffs with controlled distortion rule "Biology" and it bumps up things a notch. There are strong riffs on "Forward Is Backwards," but the vocals here seem buried or slightly off.

Thankfully the band doesn't stray off course, as "Freake" is an excellent power pop single that we've come to expect from the Wild Bores. The production is not over polished and recalls classic REM or Chris Stamey in spots, with the memorable "Making A Sun" and the heavier "18 Miles" as highlights. The band tries a few experiments here on the quieter tracks, and some work ("Band of Thieves") and some don't ("Taking Time"). They break out the big horns for the closer "Same Time Tomorrow" and it's a great song that highlights how much this band has developed. Check it out.

- Aaron Kupferberg


Kool Kat Musik
January 2011

Welldone and Charred - We're once again extremely pleased to proclaim that they've once again kicked up the "pop-o-meter" another few notches on this, their third effort to date! And, just like their previous two efforts, John Whildin (who knows how to wrap his vocals around a catchy line) and mates continue to still still have a lot of first-rate Dan Jones/Kinks/dB's-sounding delivery both vocally and instrumentally. This one's for guitar lovers and those who sometimes love a twisted (but always tasteful) take on pop. Ample amounts of jangly and slightly crunchy guitars are the order of the day more than ever throughout this little gem! "While everyone else is infatuated with tinny synthesizers and flattened emotions, the Wild Bores... Read more

- Ray Gianchetti and Max Humphries


The Pure Pop Pub
January 2011

We Think Alike - The Wild Bores play infectious, slightly groovy power pop unlike anyone else around. We Think Alike dances all over the pop music map. "In Front of Me" comes as close as anything of representing the core Bores' style, with its tender lyric. "I Still Think She's Mine" gets a whole early 60's R&B vibe going. "Sight of Gold" represents the harder edge of the band. "Life is Fine" with its lyrics supplied by a Langston Hughes poem is wonderfully quirky. The sparse and spacey title track takes on a life of its own. (It needs to be heard to be understood, really. I could say think of a rootsier version of XTC's "Another Satellite" but I'm not sure that is quite it.) The album ending track is the Cracker-ish "Anecdote" which is truly one of the great tracks of the decade.

- Rich Horton


Swiss Records
December 2010

Oh, nein, nicht schon wieder eine CD mit nerviger Weihnachtspopmusik, mag man ausrufen!! Doch weit gefehlt. «Rockin the mistletoe» ist keine lieblos produzierte Duzendware. Vor allem finden sich unter den siebzehn Songs keine schon tausendmal runter genuddelte Versionen von «Jingle bells», «Silent Night» «White christmas» oder «We Wish you a Merry Christmas». Alles nur Eigenkompositionen. Das musikalische Spektrum reicht von Indiepop, Pop, Chamberpop über Dancepop bis hin zu Power Pop. Dass sich unter den Bands und Künstlern keine bekannten Namen finden, stört in keiner Sekunde. Songs wie «Gettin ready for christmas» (Scott Bennett), «Christmas song for my darling» (Stockhom Strings), «Christmas isn’t christmas» (Chris English), «Christmas in california» (Brian Battles) oder «Cigarettes in snowmen» (Nicolas Alan) lassen einem warm ums Herz werden Als Alternative zum weihnächtlichen Einheitsbrei ist «Rockin the mistletoe» bedingungslos zu empfehlen.

- Robert Pally


Daggerzine
September 2010

We Think Alike - Nice breezy, heartland rock by John Whildin and his fairly large crew. Opener “In front of Me’ is what a pop song should be while “I Still Think She’s Mine” has some nice horns added. At times a bit light for my ears but still , strong songwriting.

- Tim Hinely


Absolute Powerpop
April 2010

We Think Alike - The Bores are back in town, as John Whildin remains prolific with two full-lengths and an EP under his belt in little over two years. While his previous releases were quite good, he takes a great leap here with an engaging, tuneful followup. Whildin knows how to open an album, as "In Front of Me" is a wonderfully catch track in the Wilco/Wallflowers vein. "I Still Think She's Mine", complete with horns and a quirky pop melody, recalls Warren Zanes, and "Same Routine" is bright pop. Elsewhere, "Sight of Gold" has a Del-Amitri-with-big-guitars feel, and "Sunshine Lady" is as languid and melodic as its title would indicate. If you like Heartland pop with a kick, well then I guess We Think Alike

- Steve Ferra


Theft Liable to Prosecution
April 2010

We Think Alike - ... Whildin centers his approach in power-pop but on his recent CD "We Think Alike" has stepped out of his comfort zone adding all sorts of interesting tweaks and sounds. He'll still sing about baseball and the simple things in life, but one can see on this effort he's separating himself from the other guys that only possess a voice and a guitar.

- DJBV Music


Powerpopaholic
March 2010

We Think Alike - John Whildin launches The Wild Bores' second album with the richly melodic "In Front Of Me" full of warmth and an easy going guitar strum. This album is much more focused and improved from their debut album last year. After the rainy atmospheric "Willow Street" with it's fuzzy keyboards, it shifts back in high gear. The low key approach of "I Still Think She's Mine" is deceptively inviting along the lines of Steely Dan with horns and guitar driving the melody. This is my favorite track on the album, with piano and horns accenting spots, and a nice sax solo to top things off. John's simple cadence and rootsy delivery are very similar to pop favorite Chris Stamey, as the hooks and jangle of "Same Routine" make it one of the highlights here. A light country-folk feel is also easy to recognize in a few tracks like "Rocket Loose" and "Life Is Fine." Fans of Wilco and The Jayhawks will easily warm to these songs. Another joy is the bright "Sunshine Lady" and "Anecdote" which recalls the best acoustic guitar pop of REM and The DB's. No real duds here, and the end result of this is a gentle, but intelligent pop album that's a perfect soundtrack to spring sunshine. Kool Kat is offering a special deal on both this album and the band's debut at a special price, check it out.

- Aaron Kupferberg


Kool Kat Musik
March 2010

We Think Alike - We're chuffed to proclaim that they've kicked up the "pop-o-meter" a few notches on their sophomore effort! As much as we loved their debut, this one grabbed us by the throats quite quickly, delivering a lot of potential "favorites" throughout. Like their debut, their sound continues to still still have a lot of first-rate Dan Jones/Wilco/dB's-sounding delivery both vocally and instrumentally. Ample amounts of jangly and slightly crunchy guitars are the order of the day throughout! Also worth mentioning are some nice electric piano and pedal steel embellishments throughout. "Sunshine Lady" is a wonderful example of folk-pop (with the accent on pop!).

- Ray Gianchetti and Max Humphries


Not Lame Recordings
June 2009

Self-Titled - Wild Bores sounds like the pure poppiest version of Pavement, if they were more direct, as the guitar lines are so spiffy and riffy. Evokes memories of The Vulgar Boatmen, Tom Petty, The Jayhawks, The Black Watch and for the more obscure minded, Rich Creamy Paint and Self. At times It has a rootsy pop core that will be appealing to Not Lamers.

- Bruce Bodeen


Powerpopaholic
June 2009

Self-Titled - The Wild Bores are neither wild, nor are they boring. Singer/songwriter John Whildin put together a band rooted in traditional Chicago pop with some Nashville influences. It features studio performances and collaborations with Brian Chard (always dependable bassist and guitarist), Glenn Kotche (Wilco) and Dan Leali ( Poi Dog Pondering). The laid back opening "Whatever makes you happy" is like a comfortable shoe that just feels right and shuffles along.

Whildin combines the lyrical slices of blue collar life similar to Bruce Springsteen with the melodic touch of Fountains of Wayne. Vocally, he reminds me of Chris Stamey a little bit. "My Home Town" has a very Ray Davies feel, where he describes "Sometimes I was a baseball player ...sometimes I was a soothsayer." The simple acoustic arrangements fit perfectly with the electric guitar touches in the chorus. It's deceptively simple and makes the rebellious rant "Hands on it" amazingly compelling to listen to. Other songs wander along ("Time Wasted," "Lovely Place") but always deliver the goods by the time the chorus kicks in. "Chasing A Revelation" is another highlight here with clean riffs and sweet harmonies. This is introspective thinking man's pop for your ipod's playlist.

- Aaron Kupferberg


Minor 7th
February 2009

Self-Titled - Wild Bores (get the double entendre?) is the nom de plume of singer/songwriter John Whildin and a posse of fine supporting musicians. Akin to the reflective, and hopelessly sentimental artistry of Paul Westerburg, Ray Davies, John Mellencamp, Fountains of Wayne, and the master of them all, Bruce Springsteen, Whildin's wistful tales of dreams and lovers gone awry makes for great pop rock 'n' roll. Strong melodies coupled with tight, lean guitar driven arrangements which effortlessly balance acoustic and electric settings afford Wild Bores a timeless veneer. "Sometimes I was a baseball player / sometimes I was a soothsayer" from "My Home Town" is the stuff of great imagery when delivered by Whildin. Jilted romantics will raise a beer to "You're Killing Me." And be sure to check out the prog-rock motif to "Creepy Lives" -- how did he do that in a pop song!? Don't let the name fool you, Wild Bores is a great record. ©

- Tom Semioli


Kool Kat Musik
January 2009

Self-Titled - While listening/preparing to review the record, I must have replayed the jangly pop gem (with a killer hook) "You're Killing Me" ten (10) times in a row (I've done it on several occasions after that as well) - it's my "Song Of The Year" (so far anyway) it's THAT good! GREAT!!!!

- Ray Gianchetti

The debut from Wild Bores' (a.k.a John Whildin) brings diverse pop/rock by mixing a dynamic blend of influences from two distinct music scenes: Chicago and Nashville. This album features performances and collaborations with artists: Brian Chard, Glenn Kotche (Wilco), and Dan Leali (Poi Dog Pondering). The guitar-fueled, harmony-filled, roots pop music contained here is characterized by underlying rock and pop rhythms couching catchy melodies and lyrics that breathe new life into everyday experiences. "Jangly, twangly and full of hooks - extremely catchy, intelligent, rootsy pop at it's very best is what Wild Bores are all about! The influences abound - REM (the poppier side), Wilco (ditto), Nirvana (ditto - see 'Let Me In' for proof)), Smashing Pumpkins (ditto), Rich Creamy Paint, The Windbreakers, the dB's (just to name but a few) - Whildin's certainly got some mighty exquisite taste when it comes to the influences he exhibits throughout this hook-filled debut. And it's all done with an intelligent, astute pop sensibility that sets this one apart from the rest of the pack for sure!"

- Max Humphries


Absolute Powerpop
January 2009

EP Review - Wild Bores is Nashville-via-Chicago's John Whildin, and the sound here captures a mix of both of those cities: roots rock with a midwestern feel. The four tracks here are all outstanding in a Summerteeth-era Wilco kind of way, albeit a bit less ornately produced. A year-end EP contender, subject to being superseded by the scheduled full-length which is supposed to include these four tracks.

Self-Titled (full-length follow-up) - We told you about the teaser EP for this disc, and with the turn of the year, the full-length is now out. Wild Bores is Nashville-via-Chicago's John Whildin, and the sound here captures a mix of both of those cities: roots rock with a midwestern feel. "Whatever Makes You Happy" opens the disc and captures the essence of Whildin's sound - kind of a lighter Jayhawks/Wilco/Gin Blossoms mix. "My Home Town" has a Jeff-Tweedy-circa-Being-There feel, and "Lovely Place" is sweetly melodic. Anyone who enjoyed the recent Leave disc will enjoy this as well, as of course anyone who picked up the EP last year.

- Steve Ferra


Nuvo Weekly
Snippet from back in the day

“Broad Ripple Music Fest: The out of town act that impressed me most was singer/guitarist John Whildin of the rock outfit Wild Bores.”

- John Fanon


Illinois Entertainer
Snippet from back in the day

“Wild Bores offer twangy, tangy far above-the-boards acoustic guitar pop. The lyrics are delicious, and the melodies go down smooth as well."

- Gwen Inhat


Showcase Music Magazine
Snippet from back in the day

“They’re not afraid to play what they like without worrying about how the end result will be perceived.”

- Ken Keenan


Chicago Metro
Snippet from back in the day

“...a great simple pop feel that reminds me of the Connells. Thanks for a great show.”

- Joe Shanahan (letter to the band)


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