Having been together since their teenage years, the Impossible Shapes recorded their first hundred or so songs to four-track cassette, naturally coming into their own voice as a band and developing a hunger for a more conventional recording studio environment. For We Like It Wild, their fourth proper full-lengh, the band ventured to the wooded Indiana hills of Monroe County. Surrounded on three sides by a few thousand acres of Indiana State Forest lies Farm Fresh Studio. With Chris Barth as primary songwriter, the Shapes’ fascination with “the other side” of the hum-drum routine of modern life comes to the fore. And Farm Fresh is the perfect environment for a band who would have been just as well at home on Vashti Bunyan’s cart-ride across England’s country-side, hoofing it during the day, setting up camp at night, chasing dogs and smoking tea into the dreamscape. During the session, this wayward band frequently lost themselves in the forest before returning to the converted barn for tracking. The end result is this incredible satellite transmission from the other side as only the Impossible Shapes know it. With alternating lead guitars, the band recalls the urban paranoia of Television and the forlorn southern gothic of Derek & the Dominoes with Barth’s fey Donovan-esque voice sounding as though it’s coming from across the Atlantic. All the while they maintain the urgent bounce of early R.E.M.
As any Hoosier who’s seen them live would attest, the Impossible Shapes are at the top of the heap of Indiana’s new wave. Reared on healthy doses of the melancholy art pop of Indianapolis’ Marmoset and United States Three, and – having grown up only a few short hours from Dayton, Ohio – Guided By Voices, the Breeders and Swearing at Motorists. A true ensemble band with revolving instrumental duties, the band features Barth, Aaron Deer, Jason Groth and Mark Rice and have honed themselves into quite the rhythm section over the years, pulling duty in such bands as John Wilkes Booze and Songs: Ohia, among others. The vinyl for We Like It Wild is being released by Atlanta-based label The Great Vitamin Mystery.