Review by Greg Maki
I became aware of The Wild!, a smokin’ rock band from Canada, last fall when the quartet opened for Airbourne on the Australian rockers’ U.S. tour. As it turns out, that’s a near-perfect way to orient yourself for what to expect on Wild at Heart, The Wild!’s full-length debut release. (The band released an EP, GxDxWxB, in 2015.) But while Airbourne comes across as Brian Johnson-era AC/DC on steroids, The Wild! reaches back further, blasting out anthem after anthem soaked in a bluesy, Bon Scott-like swagger, couched in a punk rock attitude and all pure rock ‘n’ roll.
The spirit is alive even in the band members’ names—vocalist/lead guitarist Dylan Villain, rhythm guitarist The Kid, bassist Lucas “Boozus” and drummer Reese Lightning. Sure, the names have nothing to do with the music itself, but it shows a commitment to rock ‘n’ roll not just as a job but as a way of life.
There’s nothing fancy on Wild at Heart, and I’m willing to bet the members of The Wild! will be the first to tell you they’re not out to reinvent any wheels. They’re too busy rocking hard enough to blow the wheels off the car you’re driving. The blistering “Best in the West” and “Rattlesnake Shake” rock the hardest, then the latter slows down its riff and settles into one badass groove. Other standout tracks include the shuffling “Six Hundred Sixty Six,” the stomping “Down at the Bottom” and the very classic rock-leaning “Another Bottle.”
Bands have been making music like this for decades but rarely this catchy and with such conviction. Apparently, the memo that rock is dead never made it up north.
(eOne Music, Feb. 17, 2017)