Monday, April 10, 2017

How about a Wyldlife review, finally!

I've been getting the same question for years, posed by everyone from regular readers to my butcher to my priest: "When are you finally going to review Wyldlife?!" Well how about right now! I've been fully aboard the Wyldlife bandwagon for a good while now, and I vowed to pen a glowing review once the band put out a new album. That album Out On Your Block arrived earlier this year on Steven Van Zandt's Wicked Cool Records. I've been meaning to say a few words about it since it came out, and today I'm finally getting around to it!

Wydlife has really risen to the challenge of following two of the best rock n' roll albums of the present decade. Out On Your Block is by no means a straight copy of its two predecessors, but it makes no attempt to fix what ain't broke. It's everything you could want from a Wlydlife record: big hooks, a fun attitude, and energy that never lets up. The style is still '70s punk meets power pop meets straight-up rock n' roll, and the spirit of the great city of New York emanates from every note. I hear echoes of the legendary Ramones and Dolls as well as more contemporary torchbearers such as D Generation and the Star Spangles. "Desperate Times" kicks it all off with a thundering blast of rock, and then "Teenage Heart" is a quick turn into new wave territory. From there, the album really hits its stride as the band knocks one track after another straight out of the park. In what kind of crazy backwards world are we living where songs like "Keepsakes", "Deadbeat", and "Bandida" aren't massive radio hits?! My god, those hooks! "Suburban Fever" recalls the gritty street swagger of '70s Rolling Stones, and "Get Loud" is exactly the kind of anthem/mission statement that every great rock n' roll album ought to close with.

Faced with the decision on how to approach that "difficult" third album, Wyldlife wisely chose to double down on what it already does so well. The group aspired to just go out and make a totally fantastic rock n' roll record, and I'm left wondering why more bands don't follow suit. Little Steven, who has such a great ear for what's new and exciting in rock n' roll, was bound to "get" it. You can download Out On Your Block from iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc. or get the vinyl directly from Wicked Cool. And if like me you were a little late to the party on Wydlife, head on over to Bandcamp to explore the back catalog!


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