23 November 2016

This Wild Life - Low Tides



This Wild Life are an acoustic punk duo from Long Beach, California.  They started out as a full band, but they were getting a better response with their acoustic work and overtime they evolved into the acoustic duo that we have today.  They have recently been on the road in the USA, over Europe and in the UK; I did an interview with the singer Kevin Jordan who was a brilliant lad and the show in Newcastle was so fun for me.  So, after that, I vowed in my head to review their new album which I purchased on the night.  The record is called ‘Low Tides’ and is their second to be released on the Epitaph (their fourth overall).  Now for some people, the idea of an acoustic album on a punk label is not something they will enjoy, but for me when you have acts like City & Colour & Dashboard Confessional in the world, then these guys being on Epitaph makes sense to me.  However, time for the review……

01 – Hit the Rest

The album starts with a piece of feedback and gentle rise of reverb until the song starts with a sing about starting over and not being able to see a way out of the fog.  Someone is starting a new and there is a tension and there is a plea to return back home as well, all the while the emotional upheaval is strong and the longing is profound.  Musically it is a gentle acoustic rock with some percussion in the background, a vocal delivery that is solid and strong that is channelling the end of summertime for me as it feels like an autumnal song; a beautiful beginning to this album. 

02 – Pull Me Out

Mixing in some electronic percussion to the sound, this tale of abandonment and betrayal is one of the highlights of the album.  The song talks about finally being able to let go and to attempt to more on, the music is reflective of that sentiment with a strong sing-along chorus and some brilliant vocals.  It is also a joy to sing in public as well, trust me on that one.

03 – Break Down

A song about known that everything is falling apart and there is no escape from the current state of affairs, it is a heart-breaking song with vivid imagery describing the way that the world is just an endless series of waiting and too much solitude and loneliness for one person to take.  Musically it is another gentle number, emotional peaks in the right places and a sense of isolation that is desiring to be heard.

04 – Let Go (Featuring Maya Tuttle of The Colourists)

A song about finally being able to release the past and step into the world on one’s own, knowing when it is right to part ways and finally having that courage of stepping forward off the edge of what you know, it takes balls and the lyrics of this song fit that perfectly.  Extra vocals are provided by Maya Tuttle of The Colourists which adds a beautiful contrast to the vocals of (NAME THE VOCALIST) and the best way to describe this song is big, the sound is huge and the ideas (whilst being simple) are sometimes hard for people to understand.  This is definitely one of my favourite moments of this record, such a beautiful song.

05 – Just Yesterday

A song about being with someone who is still hung up on the past and needs to figure out those emotions before being able to move on, it is a song about breaking up a relationship and it is stripped back to just the guitars and vocals for the most part, with extra strings added to the chorus for substance.  It is a haunting number that is will give comfort to people who are going through a similar scenario and need to know they are not alone, sometimes it cannot be fixed.

06 – Fade

This is all about not being able to make an emotional connect with someone, even though a physical connect is being made and there is no ability to leave it alone due to not being able to fill a void inside.  It is an explanation and it does contain an apology of sorts in the song.  Musically it is a stripped back combination of ‘Let Go’ & ‘Just Yesterday’ and it is a decent enough number which keeps the album flowing in the right direction.

07 – Falling Down

This song is about having someone who is able to catch you when you fall, even when things go wild.  This is another song that has a full band around it, mixing in some beautiful strings, a huge chorus and fascinating verses.  It is a song that has been stuck in my brain for weeks, just looping and it sounds so good that it hurts; hands down, this is the song of the year and I will place a link to the video at the bottom of the review.

08 – Red Room

A song about the dangers of late night, drunk texting when the world is all too much and you are a little too honest, this song is another one for people to identify the actions and the feeling that sometimes it is best not to do that sort of thing in the first place.  The need for redemption is strong on this song and it is one that has gorgeous music to support the words.

09 – Change My Sheets

The theme of change is brought back to the centre of the album here, being determined to move on and step forward, but still hanging onto the past as you do not know where the former lover has vanished to.  It is another song which is decent, making all the right noises and it keeps up the good work of the album.

10 – Brick Wall

Ending the album is ‘Brick Wall’, this is a song about realising that a relationship is over and it is better if it came to an end.  The problem is that one person is wanting the other to make the break, as it is too hard to make that decision.  Another song which adds layers to the acoustic background of the group, it has a lot of depth about it and it sounds as if it was painful to create; it ends the album on a tender moment, but it builds up bit by bit with sound and it cumulates with a gentle final vocal & guitar delivery.

Emotional music is sometimes really hard to mark, even hard to make as well; this album is a beautiful acoustic emotional punk album, with fantastic song, great vocals and it ends before it starts to repeat itself.  I like the fact it has extra substance to the songs, be it with strings, extra vocals or just a little piece of reverb on the guitar; it all adds to the total sum of the record and it will help people through those dark times. 

8 out of ten – Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money & heart

Top track – Falling Down

You can purchase Low Tides on Amazon here.

You can visit the This Wild Life website here.

You can follow the activities of This Wild Life on Facebook here.

You can stream Low Tides on Spotify here.

You can stream Low Tides on Deezer here.

You can stream Low Tides on Tidal here.

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