Vancouver’s The Wild! are bringing classic rock to 2020 with their own spark and charm on their new album, ‘Still Believe In Rock And Roll’.
Soaked in influences of AC/DC and old school punk, blended with a cutting-edge attempt at a modern sound, the Canadian outfit bring very little to the famously stagnant genre and are unflinchingly clinging to the past.
Opener ‘Bad News’ is a full-throttle punk track that brings to mind the very early days of Green Day, with its fast-paced riffs and energetic vocal deliveries. There’s no denying that this is a sound that’s been heard a million times before, but it’s fairly enjoyable nonetheless.
‘Crazy (For You)’ is another up-tempo track with exciting instrumentation, but the lyrics are horrendous. “But how about we bang one out / ’cause I’m guessing you need it” and “I’m your man and I want you / so how about we fuck this out?” are just a few examples of the extreme cheese and straight up misogynism offered here.
‘High Speed’ thrusts us in with some cliché 70s classic rock guitar lines and cringe-worthy vocal deliveries. The band, yet again, over-compensate with punchy instrumentation and nostalgia. ‘King Of This Town’ walks the same terrain, with repetitive power chords and corny lyricism; “Area code on my neck tattoo / I’m from these streets and I don’t know you” and a woah or two thrown in for good measure.
The title track further solidifies the death of classic rock, with its opening lines of “Free drugs, cheap thrills, gimme sex on the weekend.” Can someone tell these guys that it’s not the 70s anymore?
Admittedly, The Wild! could have been huge back in the days when AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and so on were at their peak, but in 2020 they sound beyond dated and wearing their influences far too heavily on their sleeves.
The overall sound of ‘Still Believe In Rock And Roll’ would be acceptably decent if The Wild! were a band ten records deep into their careers, but this is only their second, and instead of carving an identity of their own they’re riding on the coattails of others with little else to offer. Save your ears and give this a miss.