A gifted but not prolific band that came together in 1992, the Idle Wilds started out by producing guitar-driven, heavy metal sounds. During their early years, with David Gray (lead guitar and vocals) and the other bandmembers (Paul Demyum and Greg Dubrow (both on guitar), Adam McLaughlin (bass), and Doug Wolfe (drums)) the Idle Wilds self-released an EP that didn't go anywhere. The members kept working on their rhythms until they perfected the ability that made Idle Wilds stand out from the other alternative bands. Their unique rhythms flowed rapidly, reaching a peak that still allowed all the voices and instruments to be heard, and then calmed down, creating a fluctuation that was well-balanced on every level.
In 1994, Idle Wilds appeared on the compilation Melody Fair: Bee Gees Tribute, released by Eggbert Records. The song "Kilburn Towers" was one of the favorites from that release. Carrying on that success, the Idle Wilds caught the strong attention of fans in 1995 with their first full-length album, Dumb, Gifted and Beautiful. Pamela Sixfin (violin), Bob Mason (cello), and Kris Wilkinson (viola) were added to the regular lineup for the recording. The power pop songs on Dumb, Gifted and Beautiful were impressive, with "You're All Forgiven," "Surrounded," and "Freakin'" pouring out brilliant moments. "You're All Forgiven" was the kind of song that would knock your socks off and when Rhino Records released its three-disc Poptopia! Power Pop Classics of the '90s in May 1997, the Idle Wilds' "You're All Forgiven" played the end track of the compilation.
In 2000, Kool Kat released Unheard, an album that started with the track "Tender Distance," from the band's first demo, and picked up many previously unreleased tracks from the band's early years together, plus a few from after Dumb, Gifted and Beautiful. The original five members were still together for the release of Unheard, with the band's strength coming from those fluctuating rhythms and David Gray's ability to carry a note. ~ Eleanor Ditzel
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