August 19, 2009


Brooklyn, NY
Recorded and mixed by Jeremy Scott at
the Civil Defense in Brooklyn, NY |
Mastered by Paul Gold at Salt Mastering

On Easter Sunday in a motel room in rural Pennsylvania, Pterodactyl found the inspiration for its sophomore LP, Worldwild. Like most children conceived during drunken nights in backwoods motels, Worldwild’s origins are shrouded in haze. The band won’t say exactly what transpired on that fateful night, building a mystery that manifests in the album’s muddy guitar layers and unintelligible vocals.

Befitting its conception on Easter,
Worldwild is regarded not just as a birth, but a rebirth for the Brooklyn-based band. The album’s more sophisticated theme and structure mark the band’s coming of age under the tutelage of Jagjaguwar/Brah labelmates, Oneida.

Driven by drumming, much of
Worldwild feels like riding backseat in a runaway truck through a bumpy cornfield, the driver collapsed over the wheel with all his weight on the gas pedal. There are a few moments of quiet reflection – as in “Easy Pieces“ and “Alex,” when a shamisen-sounding guitar and hypnotic vocals conjure images of a tranquil koi pond, or on the musical palate cleanser “Ghost Facts” – but the overall tone is raw, unbridled noise rock.

The album’s highlight, “December,” makes the band’s much-resented comparisons to early Modest Mouse all too apparent. The clear, spirited lines set the scene of driving on an open road (our driver has momentarily come to his senses), much like
The Moon and Antarctica’s“Gravity Rides Everything.” However, it’s only a brief glimmer, as the song ends too quickly, leaving the listener wanting more – as all good pop songs should.

For the final act, “One With Everyone,” Pterodactyl returns to muddied guitars, drugged-up Matthew Wilder vocals and shot-from-a-cannon drumming. Whatever ails our driver has returned, leaving him out cold, foaming at the mouth, while we hold on for dear life. (Jagjaguwar/Brah)
-Amanda Nyren

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