Wildlife – …On The Heart

Wildlife - ...On The Heart

Band: Wildlife
Album: …On The Heart

Written by: Chiara DiAngelo

Toronto rockers Wildlife holed themselves up in New York and Connecticut to record their second record …On The Heart. A concept album of sorts, it is self-described as “a love letter and tribute to the heart itself.” The album is introduced with shadowy and echoey first song “If It Breaks,” breathing the words “there’s a reason this muscle is the strongest that there is.” A pulsating life force, the heart carries blood and oxygen to the entire body; punctures or other damages to its major arteries can mean immediate death. But beyond the importance of its anatomical function, the heart also possesses the vulnerability to feel emotions, to love, and to be broken by something other than physical force.

Similarly …On The Heart is earnest and vigorous hard-hitting synth-rock that is never syrupy or saccharine. Meant to be listened to as loud as your speakers will allow, this album makes you feel in two places: First there is the obvious physical response it induces – hand-clapping and singing along exuberantly – but there is also a rawness to the lyrics that evoke an emotional reaction.

Filled with rising vocals, there is a pounding exhilaration felt from your chest all the way down to your toes during first single “Born To Ruin,” so visceral is the blood coursing through your veins throughout this track. At the crux of it all is the beating of the drums by Dwayne Christie – you can almost picture him drumming away on anything and everything just like he does on stage. The driving synths take full control on “One For The Body,” making you helpless against your body’s urge to dance. Springsteen-esque hooks on songs like “Dangerous Times” and “Guillotine” hold stadium-rock potential that ultimately culminates in standout track “Lightning Tent.” The addition of strings gives the fist-pumping “oh-oh’s” on this one a baroque-pop feel that is larger than life. The two warbled staticy instrumental interludes offer a brief reprieve from the driving ferocity of the album, capturing the irregularities in the arrhythmic pulsing heartbeats of the song titles. And while there aren’t any grandiose slow burners like “Killing for Fun” from first album Strike Hard, Young Diamond on this one, slowest track “Don’t Fear” offers a rare glimpse at a simpler sincerity and deeper vulnerability from frontman Dean Povinsky.

This album has been in the works for some time, with a couple of the songs making their way into the band’s setlist over the past year. The recorded versions manage to capture the energy and intensity of their live show and transforms them into something even more massive and majestic. There’s a feeling that you get: You can feel it in your chest. It swells, pushing against your thoracic cavity. It’s the feeling you get when you’re falling in love. Don’t be surprised if it’s also the same feeling you get while listening to this record.


Categories: Recorded


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