Sunday 31 March 2013

Wildlife - ...On The Heart

Album review by

It's been a while since we've had a big alt-rock album from North America. And by that we mean an album full of grand and ambitious songs that you can feel the blood, sweat and tears pouring from. An album that it's clear the band have put every last ounce of energy they could muster into. Arcade Fire have managed it on a stadium sized level, The Gaslight Anthem have taken the baton from Bruce Springsteen and held it like a beacon for the modern generation, a generation that finds rock music increasingly pushed to the sidelines. Toronto's Wildlife are staking a claim to be considered in the same bracket as such rock royalty. Time will tell whether this album is strong enough to do so, but it's aiming high.

This is driving rock 'n' roll music that's swollen with passion and pride and wears its heart on its sleeve. Wildlife deserve to be taken seriously, because they not only have the tunes, they don't compromise anything. There's no attempt here to write a chart hit or follow formulas to ensure radio play. Instead they take the songs they have and pour their heart and soul into them. You want anthemic? You won't get much more huge sounding than 'One For The Body', 'Born To Ruin' or 'Guillotine' without entering the world of garish mainstream rock. Yet there's much more to Wildlife than chest-beating powerpop. Humanity as a whole is made up of a number of emotions, an album that concentrates on just one wouldn't be so real; it wouldn't show the multiple aspects of life.

"You wanna break my heart in ten" is 'Don't Fear''s cry of desperation and it's every bit as real as when they sing "when two hearts race, they both win" on 'Two Hearts Race', a tale of salvation that closes the album. 'Dangerous Times' is perhaps as close as they come to a pop-crossover but again those vocals mean every intense line they scream. Much will depend on how widespread the coverage of '...On The Heart' is, but they should be considered to have stepped up a level here. If you're looking around the world of alternative music for genuine inspiration and a band to put your faith in amidst the sea of posing scenesters and bandwagon-jumpers, then the second offering from Wildlife could be just what you've been waiting for.

Wildlife's website

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