With little symphonies reined in to reign, NY’s sneaky experimentalist rains on his birthplace’s parade.
Ever since his return this side of the millennium line, Gary Wilson has been creating an alternative panorama of his hometown, this magical land that can turn into twilight zone any time. You don’t get to meet Rod Serling – who was also born there – in Wilson’s pocket universe, though, yet the characters who’ll come across the listener on the follow-up to "Friday Night" – such as Mary, walking away now in the funky way just like Linda did a couple of albums back – would be familiar to Gary’s guests. It’s a weirdly comfortable place, with a lo-fi, cheap opulence which goes beyond the paleness of simple pastiche, and after the artist promised a special night, some intimacy is guaranteed.
Of course, there’s a hilariously regal air to the title track which is introduced, to the sound of fanfare-cum-dirge, at the record’s start only to allow for the presence of Endicott’s queen once the song gets properly back later on, and while this air may attain a whiff of sinister psychedelia in “The Lonely Park” – a lovely retrofuturistic piece – it’s still playfully innocent. Wilson can be simultaneously suggestive and romantic as proved by the ska-kissed “I Dream Of My Secret Girl” but that’s the prerogative of an artist handling all the instruments, and what should feel primitive in the likes of “Midnight In Endicott” at first sight, has pentatonic exotica hidden under their scintillating surface. Gary can also be sad, yet the bittersweet “I Don’t Want To Be Alone” – the album’s leitmotif – will hark back to classic soul balladry rather than awkward shoegazing, and if he’s up for gazing anywhere else, the many elegant layers of “Another Dimension” take the veteran on a different trip.
So, perhaps, next time you’ll see outside the town’s borders. As of now, a day in Endicott is splendi, indeed.