Upper Wilds is the Brooklyn trio of Dan Friel (Parts and Labor), Zach Lehroff (Ex Models, Pterodactyl) and Jeff Ottenbacher. On Mars, Upper Wilds dramatically expand their musical scope with modern noise-pop epics about our colonization of the red planet. Loud and visceral guitar lines are anchored by addictive melodies while driving bass and drums support soaring vocal harmonies and alien sounds. Using space and science fiction as tools to explore contemporary issues, Mars exploits a tension between the infinite potential of the cosmos and the gritty details of exploring it. The songs throughout are as intelligent as they are exuberant, bristling with energy and passion. Recorded by Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Swans, Boredoms), Mars is propelled by Lehroff’s monstrous bass tone, and for the first time on record, live drums from Ottenbacher. Together, the pair form a formidable rhythm section for Friel to riff over. But where synths formed an essential part of Guitar Module 2017, here Friel eschews keys in favour of his vocals processed through an array of guitar pedals, creating a world of cosmic sounds – from the frantic Morse code bleeps tapped out at the start of opener Dead Mall, to the soaring howl that circles above the noise in Mars.