How Drive-By Truckers, Rat-augmented lap steels and electric shocks shaped the alt-country sprawl of Wednesday's Rat Saw God

Karly Hartzman (left) and Xandy Chelmis perform live onstage with Wednesday
(Image credit: @CAROLINESAFRAN)

Rat Saw God, the latest full-length from Asheville, North Carolina quintet Wednesday, stands as a uniquely vital nexus conjoining back-of-the-pickup-breezy country jams with pedal-pushing, primal scream-laden shoegaze. That said, the yarns vocalist/guitarist Karly Hartzman spins throughout the record are also united through near-death experiences. 

Take how Chosen to Deserve alludes to teenage overdoses and pumped stomachs. Bath County similarly has someone breaking out Narcan in a parking lot. Then there’s Got Shocked, a true-to-life retelling of the time Hartzman – during a practice for Wednesday guitarist Jake “MJ” Lenderman’s solo project – became an unwilling conductor, owing to the half-assed wiring job in her and Lenderman’s bedroom/rehearsal space. 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Gregory Adams

Gregory Adams is a Vancouver-based arts reporter. From metal legends to emerging pop icons to the best of the basement circuit, he’s interviewed musicians across countless genres for nearly two decades, most recently with Guitar World, Bass Player, Revolver, and more – as well as through his independent newsletter, Gut Feeling. This all still blows his mind. He’s a guitar player, generally bouncing hardcore riffs off his ’52 Tele reissue and a dinged-up SG.