The Wild - 'A Collection' review

The Wild are a band from Atlanta, and a good one. At their best, they effortlessly blend genres like punk, pop and folk into a brilliantly uplifting and pleasant, not overly forceful sound but one that still packs a punch. They represent the lighter, happier side of Americana. Unfortunately, they may belong to a minority of bands that represent a tragedy in music, in that they are a band of genuine talent and brilliance that don't have and may not get the recognition they truly deserve (at least not in the UK). They tour extensively throughout the US from what I can tell, and I don't know accurately how 'big' they are over there, but here they are practically unheard of - there is no justice! Not only this, but after a little research I discovered that they play a part in running a community centre called 'The Wonderroot', which helps out up-and-coming bands young and old, providing a cheap recording studio as well as performances and the like. They may not be game-changing musically, but they're a great listen, and the music's got a lot of heart.

A Collection is the aptly titled (almost as perfect as calling the finale of LOST 'The End') coming-together of everything The Wild have done previously, making fourteen tracks of EPs, split releases, singles and live tracks. The opening two tracks, Mudlines and Let Me Sing You a Song set the tone for the entire record. Mudlines is a rocking song with Frank Turner-esque lyrics of a serious, inspiring tone, but you could still dance to it. It's also laden with harmonica playing the likes of which Dylan would be proud, and that runs throughout the remainder of A Collection. Let Me Sing You a Song is the other side of The Wild; a bouncing, sweet tune with well-written and well-structured lyrics almost reminiscent of a poem. It is these kind of tracks where The Wild truly hit their peak, in my view: when they're really rocking, with either a serious, uplifting tone to the lyrics, or when they're just being plain, irresistibly sweet. Our Cities is another example of the latter; you just try not humming that melody once it's stuck in your head.

A Collection continues in mainly this sort of vein, with The Wild mostly sticking to their strengths. I do, however, usually end up skipping tracks like Stillness Sickness and To Be Content, but not because they are badly recorded or bad songs, they just don't seem to grab me with as much force as the other tracks of such a high standard that The Wild set for themselves. The later tracks, such as We Will Drive These Warlords Out and We Shall Overcome Someday are brilliant too: there isn't many tracks on here that aren't. Even the final three live tracks are worth listening to, with the songs they perform translating well into a live recording - there isn't a lot wrong with this album.

In short, The Wild have had a fair few releases in the past, and they have all been brought together here: this is a good place to start. Also, they are a band of genuine talent that have been trying to give something back to up-and-coming artists like they once were. I imagine you will find them very hard to dislike, and they do deserve your attention.

Just because I'm good to you, you can download the whole album for free/a donation. (of course, please, do donate): http://www.quoteunquoterecords.com/qur050.htm