Wyldlife’s profile has been rising steadily, with slots opening for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and CJ Ramone. The diversity of acts they have supported says something about the music on their new self-titled album. They have the cockiness and swagger of punk circa late-70’s New York mixed with the melodicism and big choruses of modern indie rock. They’re grander than The Ramones and more polished than The Dead Boys. I think the closest old-school reference point would be The Jim Carroll Band, streetwise but still poppy. In spots though, singer Dave Feldman’s voice is a dead-ringer for Hot Hot Heat’s Steve Bays’ elastic yowl.
It’s this blend of old and new, classic and timely, that works so well for Wyldlife. They keep their riffs catchy and have lots of memorable lyrics (“I’m a masochist/ I’m gonna maso-kiss her on her head” Come on, who says stuff like that?!). Most of the best songs are at the beginning of the album, my favorite probably being “(She’s Making Me) Nervous.” It’s got the best blend of catchiness and attitude of all the songs and a seemingly endless array of similes until Feldman actually sings, “She’s making me run out of similes.” They experiment with other styles such as southern-rock (“Bird”) and hair-metal (“The First Time I Killed Someone”), but it’s songs like “Nervous” that are their real bread and butter. Still, it’s their willingness to step outside the punk box coupled with their already strong songwriting that will make them a band to keep an eye on.