The Found Tape Aesthetic of Mild Wild’s “Chain-Link Fence” Makes it a Lo-Fi, Timeless Commentary on the Perils of Consumerism and Culture as a Disposable Commodity

Mild Wild “Chain Link Fence” cover (cropped)

Mild Wild took the opposite approach to crafting the music and production of its single “Chain-Link Fence” than what we hear too often now when most makers of music can afford to sound “good” in a professional musical sense. But what too much music lacks is a sense of rough hewn spontaneity. The instruments used on the recording and the gear employed to capture the sounds were come by through inheriting items from friends or finding them at the thrift store or in a dumpster. And if that’s partly a myth, this song certainly sounds like someone used an old Tascam Portastudio and used it to great effect as say John Vanderslice did on his early recordings or the way Microphones sound on The Glow, Pt. 2. It has the aesthetic of a found reel-to-reel tape of indeterminate vintage as the songwriting isn’t really dated by popular cultural references but, rather, a commentary on the corrosive nature of consumerist culture on how we value not just art but how we construct meaning in the world and thus each other and ourselves. It warns of not aspiring to dubious dreams that make you essentially a servant of a system of economics and existence that relegates everyone and everything to a commodity that is immediately disposable and consumable. It suggests that we deserve better and we can have it if we don’t fall victim to a mentality that atomizes our experiences and lives by colonizing our sense of self and each other in all areas of our lives. The song is a refreshingly unvarnished hearkening back to mid-2000s lo-fi indie pop that seemed to take no cues from commercial musical trends while being instantly accessible as the music was meant to be relatable and convey a sincere commentary on society without being didactic. Listen to “Chain-Link Fence” on Spotify (where you can listen to the rest of the album Mild Wild, Vol. 1) and connect with Mild Wild at the links below.

Author: simianthinker

Editor, primary content provider for this blog. Former contributor to Westword and The Onion.

%d bloggers like this: