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Joe Wildflower - Riding For A Fall (EP Review)

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Joe Wildflower
Joe Wildflower

Joe Wildflower is no more! They are a boat that has left the dock, leaving ladies in big dresses waving handkerchiefs to whimper by the shore. What a shame. Where are they now? There are rumours they donned a suit, rented an office space and started a company that sells NFT’s that look like characters from Hey Arnold. Another person told me they were directing a film set in the MCU. One man hovering outside the Blob Shop with a cigarette insisted they're now making listicles of the most controversial moments in the history of the house of commons (Speculation edition).

Me? I assume they're making new music. Call me a liar, I don’t care. I hope they are anyway. So sad was it to see the gang hang up their ball gowns, they still released this EP before disbanding and moving into new territory. It’s a big fat jam record of fun and jolly punk tunes. If you’d be so kind as to give me a few seconds of your time, I’ll waffle on about some of the tracks for a bit. Yeah? Thanks, darling.

The EP opens with ‘Ostrich’, a stoner rock jam that builds and builds to chaotic, frenzied vocals. It immediately sets the tone of this slacker-hardcore EP. ‘Tell Me Now’ starts in a way that could fool you into thinking it was on the grease soundtrack, but as soon as the vocals kick in, it’s pure Wild Man Fischer. Whether the idiosyncratic street performer was an influence on this record is hard to tell, but the groovy outsider quality to his music is splattered right across the EP. Joe Wildman Fischer? Wildflower Fischer? Strange, the puns here don’t work as well as you’d think they would, with them both featuring a common word. Unsettling stuff.

Like ‘Ostrich’, ‘Oak Street’ lies within the realm of old school hardcore jams. It does what this record does best, which is just have fun. There’s no wanky technical wizardry. It wouldn’t suit them. ‘Ollie’s Song’, on the other hand, is almost like a Parquet Courts ballad. The raggedy vocals paired with cute-sy synths make this the sweetest track on the record. Following this is the raw and visceral “Working Class Blues” before taking a departure from this sound in the final track ‘Mittens’, which may sound all warm and fuzzy, but is actually droning, moody 6 minute epic.

I’ve seen Joe play live and towards the end of the set they, quite amusingly, threw their guitar across the stage and then proceeded to smash the guitar against the floor. A testament to the quality of the instrument, it didn’t perish, however you have to imagine that if it had pieces would have flung into the audience, severing the heads and plunging into the eyes of the loving crowd. Thankfully, much of Joe’s audience are youthful, rather than the elderly who would’ve suffered the worst. It also didn’t happen which made it delightful, rather than a newsworthy tragedy.

While Joe has now disbanded the band, you can still listen to the full EP on Spotify.

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