I wrote about local singer Dave Feldman and his band Wyldlife after my friend Erica Garcia raved about them. When I met Feldman at Balance Salon in Jersey City, where he works, he gave me a copy of the band’s debut CD. I admit, it took me a couple listens, but I ended up really liking it.
See the NJ.com version.
Wyldlife’s mix of classic, contemporary sounds shines on debut
Two things are immediately apparent after listening to Wyldlife’s self-titled debut – they’re a welcome throwback and they must be killer live.
Sure, they’re mostly some sort of power-pop, punk group, but you can hear a little bit of everything in there from classic rock to emo to honky-tonk. Drummer Russ Barrnett and guitarist Samm Allen keep the energy pumping and Spencer Alexander shines on bass (listening to the album with headphones at least once is a must). Dave Feldman is an able frontman, singing with grit and recklessness – the same way others like Alice Cooper sling their voices around but magically stay in-tune.
Journalism student Feldman is also the band’s lyricist and must balance complementing the band’s throwback sound while expressing modern thoughts. He’s at his best when he keeps the metaphors simple and timeless and writes spunky, in-your-face lines that match his style of delivery.
“The First Time I Killed Someone” and “S.W.A.K.” are lyrical stand-outs. “Sidewalk Queen” falls short of being one of the best tracks with an awkwardly-delivered last line, “I found her though it took me all night and a thousand-one days.” Another questionable line comes from the country-influenced “Bird” – “I’m a masochist, I’m gonna maso-kiss her on her hand.” It’s cute the first time, but gets a little old halfway through.
Overall, the band’s intensity lights up the whole album, especially opening track “City of Inbreds,” “Lit Lounge” and “She’s Makin’ Me Nervous,” which is the perfect mix of classic and modern. When they take it down a few notches, like on the last tune, “Memory,” the low simmer keeps listeners hungry for more. Another low-key track, “One Night Only,” is just begging to be an acoustic cover.
Check out Wyldlife’s performance of “Sidewalk Queen” at 58Gallery in Jersey City in January.