Published on December 25th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Wild America: Gasoline (Kivel)
Wild America, a new band on the Kivel Records label, made their debut recently with Gasoline, an unapologetic nod to the late ‘80s arena rock sound. There’s been a (much needed) resurgence in this kind of music over the past few years, so it’s always fun to find new bands picking up that tried and true banner.
Wild America’s sound seems most influenced by that post-glam, pre-grunge period where American hard rock was still catchy and hook-heavy, but didn’t rely on image or songs about T&A quite as much. Fun without being embarrassing, in other words. Think Tora Tora (it’s hard to see the words “Wild America” and not think Tora Tora, after all), Tangier and even Tyketto. That’s not a bad sound to draw influence from at all. On the more recent side, Wild America isn’t too far removed from the likes of Tango Down, Outloud and The Defiants.
Gasoline checks all the boxes. Catchy melodies? Check. Flashy solos? Check. Hard rocking rhythms? Check. Strong, clear vocals? Check. The songs are all well put-together and the production is solid. The album even sports great cover artwork. There are a couple of songs where the lyrics could have used a bit more polish (see: “Rock Star” and “Gasoline”), but that’s a minor gripe about an otherwise very enjoyable disc. “Is Anybody Listening” and “Maybe Tonight” are party-rocking highlights, but songs that slow down the pace like “Feet To The Fire” and “Til The End” also shine.
The Kivel label has a knack for discovering fun, old school melodic hard rock bands, and Wild America definitely fits the bill. Gasoline is a really solid, really enjoyable album that anyone rocking in 1989-1991 ought to enjoy.
Summary: Good, solid, melodic hard rock, '80s style.