Wicker Man On Unknown Sundays 10-2016

Sometimes showing some promise is not enough, when the industry mainstream popular music is going crazy, like alternative rock scene was during the 90’s. Hollywood (the label) was signing bands left and right with the alternative metal feel. I got a hold of one of their early projects in 1994-1995 simply called Wicker Man. Hey! When you commit to naming your band with this title, you better bring it! I think whomever signed them had that sticking in the back of their minds, and they knew there was something there…that promise (if you will). Great band name, check! Great cover art, check! Great big sound to match—check!

 

Chicago’s Wicker Man is one of these stories. They were rocking it stage to stage, opening for the likes of KMFDM, Marilyn Manson, and Powerman 5000 to name a few. Their self titled debut hit the stores in 1995, and locally I have to assume that the band did all right, but there was no question that it had no vital marketing behind the release throughout the country.  It was probably quickly lost in the shuffle of new artists and popular releases of the year. Especially, when you consider…1995! Need help, here’s a few to remind you in the alternative genre: Smashing Pumpkins’ had a small double album, maybe you remember that!? Here’s some more: Green Day, Oasis, Incubus, Blind Melon’s Soup, Neil Young’s Mirror Ball which had Pearl Jam on it, as well as Mad Season (a grunge spin off like no other), Faith No More’s King For A Day…,” Bjork’s Post, and even Radiohead’s game changer The Bends. Then there was this new release from that front man of Nirvana—what’s their name again…something…fighters?  I’m sure that one went unnoticed-right? Oh, and then there’s that angst ridden long-haired Canadian who told us all to swallow it down like a Jagged Little Pill. So, no wonder, when I look up Wicker Man, or is it Wickerman (that’s something that should have been fixed from day one), the only album I find, the only album I have…is the self titled debut.

 

Wicker Man can always consider themselves fortunate enough to at least have had a record deal, as well as a glowing review (hell, it rocks–and it rocks hard enough to be in the good company they were keeping), and a great fan base (from what I can tell from the remnants of Facebook). They committed no crime against the alternative metal genre, and while I never saw them live, I have two friends that saw them throw down–and deliver. Their album is one that I revisit at least once a year. Why? Because, it’s a go at it, anger management issues kind of alternative rock record that certainly had the feel of rawness, but hints of developed production and attention. It also reminds me, again and again, at how much the music industry success is tied to what’s going on within the confines of radio play, record industry advertisement budgets, and the will of public’s word of mouth. Back in 1995, we were not hacking away at the keyboard to get some tweets or feelers out for “free” (now it’s called organic) publicity. Groups were not able to friend a gig/event, send up a stream on Soundcloud, or have a Podcast from their Wayne’s World knock off garage.

 

Today, if the band has a record out there, I missed it–can’t find it. If so, send it to me! And after you get a chance to listen to the debut, you’ll probably be seeking out that supposed sophomore record, too. So, all I can give you is this clip, the picture of the record, and tell you this…“Brainfreeze” is probably one of the best 90’s hard rock, alternative songs you never heard! It must kill…live!  Below is a taste from YouTube, “You Annoy Me.”

 


SPECIAL ARCHIVE POSTING NOTE

Wicker Man Albums in my collection:   Wicker Man (1995)

This “Unknown Sundays” was done back on March 6th of 2016, and yes I still have that hard copy that I pulled out of used bin at Record Theater that was probably only $5.99 at best!  Only thing I can do is give you this link below on You Tube with comments from a lot of people after they listened (some during COVID lockdown).  Wish there was more to go on, but I’m always checking out and linking to their Facebook RIP page.  – Mark Kuligowski  [May 14th 2023]

Self Titled Debut Album On You Tube [5 Years Ago]

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