Little Wild, formerly known to Badass Bands Blog readers as Rags to Radio, has finally released their highly anticipated debut album, Victories! If you were a fan of their old stuff, you’ll still be a fan of the new, however, it is definitely a change in pace from their 2010 EP With Gratitude. Clearly Layton Keely, Zach Keely, Joshua Erickson and Jake Holmes have finally found their sound and have come a long way with their musical stylings since 2010. This album is a testament to instrumental maturity and the passion that can go into a band doing their best to encapsulate their live set in the studio. At the core, Little Wild sticks with the classic sounds of rock n roll, but adds just enough of their unique anthemic flavor to modernize the classic sound so many people love.
All of the tracks are solid and stand well alone, but the four that really showcase their range are:
“Great Big”- This track starts you off with a head bopping build up complete with clapping to enhance the beats driving the song. The heavy drawn out guitar riffs offset the rhythm section, and Layton’s vocals act as almost a call to action. It’s impossible not to sing along with him. LW builds anticipation to the core message of the song which is, “By now you’ve thought about it once or twice, by now you’ve realized I’m not so nice, I don’t wanna say it, and you don’t wanna do it, but somethin’ is in the way and we gotta get through to it right? Lay low cause I’m gonna do it right, lay low cause you don’t want a dirty fight, I’ve got a record of never starting fires, but never trust a singer because they’re all just liars. One day I’ll be so great big deep down, One day I’m gonna be somebody, one day I’m gonna pack it up and leave this town. One day I’m gonna, One day I’m gonna…” This track quickly wins over a person’s independent spirit or will remind you of why you left that hometown in the first place.
“Love Away”- This song is crafted as a perfect vehicle to showcase vocals and lyrical content, “By no means is she perfect, but she’s perfect for me. I can see it, I can feel it, I can taste it. You can take it or leave it, but don’t waste it. Just don’t hide your love away from me.” It packs a punch from the get go and varies in depth, with amazing harmonies following each chorus. The climax boasts even more heart wrenching harmonies paired with marching tune beats, which will drive the chorus into your soul. Another thing you will find throughout the tracks on this album is highly relatable lyrical content masked in clever imagery.
“Gallows Humour”- This song has taken quite a new direction, it was my favorite track from ‘With Gratitude’ but I love it even more now. LW re-crafted GH to make it harder hitting via dirtier electric guitar riffs, more prominent key melodies, and striking drum solos. This song is a modern rock n roll representation of early southern folk music. This is easily exemplified through lyrics like, “Take me to the river, Put me in the water, Take me to the river, I’m comin’ home.” The use of the muddied vocals at the climax also helps to reinforce this observation.
“Clever”- This tune has a psychedelic start, which transitions into tambourine shakin’ to enhance the introductory vocals. Then LW adds quick beats and murky, deep, singular guitar riffs that match the lyrical setup. This song drives home the expertly placed pieces of lyrics that display the irony of a ‘clever’ person making terrible decisions to the listener. For example, “You’ve had your heart broken by so many heart breakers, it’s time to change your taste in men. Ohhhh. They’re all staring, and I’m not caring. I’m not even gonna try to pretend. Everybody knows you’re clever to the bone but you’re not so smart, you should head back home.” Listen to even just that part of the track and you’ll understand what I mean.
All in all, Victories is definitely an album that belongs in your music library with its anthemic vocals/lyrics, combined with early southern folk influence and classic rock n roll at the core. I dare you to find a track that doesn’t get you movin’. Little Wild a band to seriously keep an eye on.
Little Wild- Victories– 10/10