This Wild Life – Clouded


Album

Clouded

Label

Epitaph

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

Dashboard Confessional - The Early November

Summary

Sing-a-longs with heart.

Rating

74 / 100

It’s been a while since an acoustic based pop-punk act came along to make teenage girls swoon and memorise lyrics like gospel a.k.a. Dashboard Confessional or The Early November.

Enter: This Wild Life.

The duo who recently signed to Epitaph have now released their label debut, and first full length, ‘Clouded,’ and it features plenty of jingles, which will achieve exactly what was described in the opening sentence. Smooth vocals, catchy melodies and nice harmonies, all set to an acoustic backing with colourful splashes of bright keys and synths to make sure things aren’t too dull.

The songs are well written, perfectly crafted to steer clear of any 5 Seconds of Summer like bullshit yet still appeal to that kind of crowd if need be. The extra instrumentation also shows that these guys kind of know what they are doing. Take for example the album standout, an emotional number called ‘Roots And Branches (Meant To Be Alone)’, which slowly builds and stirs in such a way that the song plays out like a script, adding in drums and lead riffs to get it to the crescendo.

The heavier moments of the record, and that word is used loosely, can be attributed to the input of producer Aaron Marsh, who some will recognise from the band Copeland, who has helped the group step things up from just mere acoustic guitars. This helps to give the record some dynamics and not make it too whiny. The fact that it can go from a gentle love song, like first single ‘History’, to an all out rocker on closing track ‘405′, is a necessary attribute.

The main asset this group has is their harmonies, which they use to full potential as the vocals are the feature of the record. This is, however, offset by some guitar work that can also steal the limelight a little from time to time.

Conclusion

While this may not be everyone’s cup of tea and is clearly aimed at a younger audience, there is no denying there are some serious musical talents and song writing abilities within This Wild Life and they have been displayed very well on ‘Clouded.’

Tracklisting

1. Concrete
2. Over It
3. No More Bad Days
4. History
5. Roots and Branches (Meant to be Alone)
6. Bound To Break
7. Better With You
8. Looking Back
9. Don’t Say
10. 405

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