F3ralcat and The Wild hop genres for a grandiose and cinematic ‘Disassembly’

On his latest album, Pittsburgh's F3ralcat, occasionally joined by his band The Wild, creates an explosive prog-rock experience.
Picture of mynameisblueskye
A singer-songwriter from Boston, MA that also writes blogs about music from time to time. A loud and proud as fuck member of the Alt-Black, LGBT and autistic community.

The night fades into a gradient mix of blue and black, yet streetlights, neon store signs, and well-lit restaurants remain bright enough to never let the nighttime bring forth a place of absolute danger. The city truly never sleeps… except for this night. This night promises something magical. As this all goes down, smooth saxophone and glossy keys set the tone for what will promise to blossom, if not plain explode, into a prog-rock experience.

If anyone dares to create something this big and make it sound this playful yet non-cheesy, it would be Pittsburgh’s own F3ralcat. He has released imaginary film/video game projects in the vein of both keyboard lo-fi—ALT being a full-length project—and jazz-rock fusion with his band, The Wild. Together they have released original projects and a cover album of artists such as The Weeknd and Paramore. On their latest project, Disassembly, the band—recently made of guitarists Matt Elias and Aedan Symons, bassist Chris “Trip” Trepagnier, drummer Allen Bell and, of course, Feralcat, whose name alternates between having the 3 and regular E in or outside of said band—bring together multiple genres that add up to something rewarding and occasionally bombastic.

Judging by the illustrated album cover—a hand-drawn animated city made up of video game arcades, castles, and tall buildings with the band placed in the middle—one might assume this is a concept album, but, without a synopsis in the bio, it’s clear that the band would rather you fill in the blanks on what is going on in Disassembly. If you are more concerned with sound than overall notions, thankfully, this should not affect the listening experience. “a cyborg angel” blends trap, jazz, and EDM for a grandiose beginning that transfers to birds chirping and morning vibes appearing on “a robot prince.” Often, the music moves directly into John Williams territory with tracks such as the dreamy yet brooding “a fateful meeting” and the tension-filled “a battle theme” while other times, it moves into 80s retrowave territory with the energetic neon-colored suit rocker “a mechanical bride.” 

Now, one crucial thing to point out is that on Bandcamp, credits are split between solo f3ralcat and with The Wild. f3ralcat is more electronic, intentionally sounding solitary, and The Wild boasts more energy alongside shredding guitars. Conveniently, the change occurs between “a defeat today//Victory Tomorrow” (note the difference in capitalizing) and “How to Assemble,” an intro to the album’s more metal fist-pumper “Disassembly.” If you picked up that the album shares a theme of community and togetherness, you might be closer to the ballpark as there is more firepower than f3ralcat’s solo bits for a reason.

Whether the songs swing from metal to punk rock—as demonstrated on “Dancetron”— to even a short foray into Latin rock with “¿Por qué so Serious?” The Wild are there to add the grit that f3ralcat’s instrumental doesn’t always have. But this does not imply that F3ralcat’s music is any less important without the band than with them. They both contribute that action-packed vibe that continues all through the album.

Disassembly is 1) an imaginary anime-style soundtrack, 2) an odd split between f3ralcat’s solo work as a lo-fi composer and The Wild, and 3) a likely introduction of jazz, prog, and lo-fi music for those not usually into the genres. If you are new to F3ralcat, Disassembly is a worthy epic to introduce both worlds simultaneously.

Read More