The wait is officially over for Wyldlife’s new album Year of the Snake. The independent rock band released its new 11-song record Friday through Wicked Cool Records. The 36-minute record is a work that any pop punk fan will enjoy from its outset to its end. That is evidenced through the album’s musical and lyrical content. At times, the record’s musical arrangement lend themselves to comparisons to works from Bowling for Soup while at others, they are more akin to The Hives and Baby Shakes just to name a few similar acts. The record’s lyrical content is engaging and entertaining in its own right. ‘Kiss and Tell’ is just one of the songs featured in the record that serves to support the noted statements. It will be discussed shortly. ‘Deathbed,’ the record’s opener, is another key addition to the record. It will be discussed a little later. ‘The Falcon,’ which closes out the album, is one more key addition to the record’s presentation, and will also be addressed later. Each noted song is important in its own way to the whole of YOTS. When they are noted alongside the rest of the record’s songs, the record in whole proves to be one more of this year’s top new independent albums.
Wyldlife’s new full-length studio recording Year of the Snake is a work that will appeal to a wide range of punk and pop punk fans, thanks to its catchy musical arrangements and its lyrical content. That is proven early on in the record’s nearly 40-minute run in the form of ‘Kiss and Tell.’ The song opens with a steady, driving rhythm from drummer Stevie Dios on the floor tom and snare that eventually is accompanied by an equally driving guitar and bass line from Samm Allen and Spencer Alexander respectively. There is even a subtle piano line to make things even richer. Front man Dave Feldman eventually adds his own talents to the mix, fleshing out the song even more and adding that much more to its enjoyment. Coming in at approximately three minutes, 45-seconds, the up-tempo arrangement ensures listeners’ maintained engagement and enjoyment through each performer’s own part both alone and collectively. The impact of each performance therein does a lot to make the song appealing just for its musical content. The musical content here is only one part of what makes the song stand out. Its lyrical content adds even more to its impact.
Feldman sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’m used/So used/So useless/So used to being so used up/Up to/My old tricks until I/Fell down/And ended up so sick/So sick…someday/Praying that I may not need/This medication/Til then I’m down here waiting/And I’d rather be ignored/than be adored…” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Got love/So love/Such a lost cause/…Affection ain’t my thing/I think it’s time we parted/Got your money in the glove compartment/I’m shocked/So shocked now/I’m to the point/The point of no return/Return/Return to sender/Three-day weekend/Four-day bender…” Deciphering this whole work sans lyrics to reference is difficult, but according to a recent interview conducted with the band, the song’s lyrical theme seems to hint at someone who just wants to live his or her life. “After listening to “Definitely Maybe” for more times than we can count, Sam and I wanted to make a song that was tough and angry but still confident and cool,” said Feldman. “The lyric “I’d rather be ignored than be adored” was a riff on another favorite Manchester band, the Stone Roses. Obviously we as a band want to be celebrated and have an impact on people’s lives, but most times I just want to be left the fuck alone. WYLDLIFE tends to have a larger than life personality, but most people don’t actually know any thing about us. I’ve said “good to see you” to more people I don’t know than I’m comfortable with.” While the song’s lyrical theme would seem to hint at the band’s members just wanting to be left alone, it could also be an anthem for introverts everywhere. Who out there hasn’t wanted to just be left alone at one point or another in life? Keeping this in mind with the song’s catchy musical content, the whole of the song stands out, needless to say, as one of this record’s most notable works. It is just one of the album’s most noteworthy songs. ‘Deathbed,’ which opens the album, is another key entry on this album.
‘Deathbed’ presents a musical arrangement that is classic garage punk rock. It is driven by its guitar and drums, while Feldman’s vocals and Alexander’s bass work add their own touch to the overall presentation. Considering the seemingly remorseless nature in the song’s lyrical content, the somewhat celebratory nature of the arrangement would make sense.
The lyrical content in question comes across as being a statement from someone who is looking back on everything in life without a bit of regret. The use of the deathbed is likely a metaphor, as Alexander sings about being comfortable with choices made in life. He sings in the song’s lead verse, “You wanted forever/You got this instead/So I’ll say sayonara and sigh one last breath…So turn up the volume/Turn up my IV…we’re all casting shadows on our death bed/My deathbed is a place where can’t nobody control me/My deathbed is a place where you and I don’t have to feel lonely anymore/So I’m calling out to you/Form your speakers I come through/And I’m making room for two in my deathbed.” He adds in the song’s second verse, “Sorry my darling/Well I won’t look back/And the credits are rolling as I fade to black/It’s the director’s cut/From my deathbed/Enjoy every second.” Again, the song seems kind of morbid on the surface, considering the lyrical content. On the bigger scale though, it is actually a much deeper work. It really can be inferred more as a song that emphasizes living without regret, so that when that day does come, we can be comfortable with our choices. This is of course just this critic’s interpretation and should not be taken as gospel. Hopefully it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark, especially considering what is being presented here. Regardless, the clearly positive vibes exhibited through the song’s lyrical content, coupled with the song’s musical arrangement makes the song stand out strongly on its own merits. When it is considered alongside ‘Kiss and Tell,’ the songs collectively go a long way to show why Year of the Snake is a work that fans of the independent music world will appreciate. They are not the record’s only notable works. ‘Falcon,’ the song’s finale, ‘The Falcon,’ is yet another example of what gives YOTS its strength.
‘The Falcon’ is a stark contrast to its counterparts in this album, both musically and lyrically. The song’s musical arrangement opens with that familiar garage rock sound in its opening bars, but very quickly turns more to a sense of a late 80s hair metal-influenced work. The whole thing even concludes with a hugely bombastic finale that would have been so common place for music from the noted era, right down to the huge drum fill at the end, the loud guitars and bass line and even that last screaming note. The whole of the arrangement builds a solid foundation for the song and makes for a fitting finale for the record. When that musical arrangement is coupled with the song’s lyrical content, the song gains even more attention.
This song’s lyrical content is, at times, difficult to decipher sans lyrical content, but just enough of it is able to be understood that an educated guess can be made here that it is perhaps a song that is maybe about heading out on the road and a personal journey. That is inferred as Feldman makes note of pulling out of the driveway, and tells someone to take a seat on the Falcon and that “we ain’t coming back.” Early on, he even makes note, saying, “Fly wheel/Big deal/Chrome covered/Total eruption/Can’t catch a break/My mistake/Then all of a sudden/I’m backing out of my driveway/Back your head out your ass/You’re begging me to tap on the brake lines/Ain’t no good/Good times just don’t last.” That’s just the song’s lead verse. The second verse even makes note of an eight-ball (which was and is often used as a stick shift knob). To that end, all of this would seem to infer something having to do with hitting the road and getting out on one’s own. Yet again, this is just this critic’s interpretation. It could be meant to address anything, but the mention of seeing a person “in another state” would seem to hint even more at that interpretation, that this is a song that addresses going out on the road and perhaps just “leaving it all behind.” Regardless of right or wrong, the band has crafted a song here that lyrically at least, is certain to catch listeners’ attention and keep it through to the end of the five-minute-plus work. When the song’s musical arrangement is added to the mix, that engagement and entertainment is ensured even more. Keeping this in mind while considering the other two songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the album proves to be a presentation that could make 2020 Wyldlife’s best year.
Wyldlife’s latest full-length studio recording Year of the Snake is a positive new offering from the independent rock band. That is proven through its musical and lyrical content, as has been exhibited here. The content, by itself and collectively will ensure listeners’ engagement. All things considered, they make Year of the Snake a work that is one of the year’s top new independent albums. More information on the album is available online along with the band’s latest news at:
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