Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Life really isn't this precious thing that needs all kinds of coddling and massaging. It doesn't need the precise movements and advancements on it that we sometimes think it does. We don't need to sneak up on it or pussyfoot around it, trying not to rile it up, trying to instead stay on its good side, where all good things can come to us, if they haven't been so far, or continue coming to us, if we've been lucky enough. It's without form and without the texture that would require kid gloves or the weak-kneed wonderment of someone trying to outwit it. It's really just there and it's deaf sometimes. It's not as sharp as we give it credit for and when we get next to it, it doesn't act surprised that we want something from it - many somethings. We get to fancy with it and it just spits in our faces. It's when we let ourselves not think, but just feel, when we're able to get the most out of this crapshoot. Go mindless and suddenly things get interesting.
Wildlife, a Canadian band that's been around since 2005 but is just now starting to make some noise in these lower 48 states to the south, brings us to these tremendously hot and agitated thoughts of being in the throes of the taking and giving of life's and love's ways. These are passionate displays of punching at the walls, howling at moons and suns and mostly smiling wide, as it seems that the good far outweighs the bad. They press us to believe - with a youthful aggression and abandon - that there's a lot of the good out there for us and we should just claim it. There's a lot of belief in that and there seem to be countless restless hearts and beats in Wildlife music that makes you believe that you should do your best to just let it all out, to give it hell and see what all happens. There's an exuberance that envelops around every aspect of their music. It's raw and it's cathartic. Lead singer Dean Povinsky sings and he barks, cutting the air with he words coming from his swollen lungs and produced through the energy supplied by the blood tearing through his bulging veins. It's all equal parts dreams and their trampled forebears. It's what's wanted and what should be. It's being on the cusp of it all either working out or it all crashing into the ocean in one awesome gasp. It wouldn't look like much, but it would feel like some kind of triumph, even so.
*Essay originally published on Sep 14, 2011