Album of the Week: WYLDLIFE – ‘Year of the Snake’

It’s a strange time for all of us, but how bizarre is it to release an album that is possibly a couple of years worth of work into a world without concert tours? It must suck for sure, but it could also be a blessing in disguise as we all have a lot of time to listen to music and for me ‘Year of the Snake‘ the new one from New York rockers Wyldlife has been a constant household jam since its April 17th release.

Year of the Snake‘  is the bands’ 4th album, second on Little Steven’s Wicked Cool Records and solidifies Wyldlife as one of the best and most authentic rock and roll bands going. I’ve always been a sucker for hooks and this album has an infinite number of them. The songs are direct and catchy, equally inspired by late-’70s punk like the Ramones, The Boys and The Real Kids, and the polish of 2000s Brit-rock like The Vines, along with New York’s finest The Strokes.

It’s a winning combination that they have honed over the years and on ‘Year of the Snake‘, the 11 tracks project a lust for life and a swaggering self-confidence. Opener ‘Deathbed‘ sets the tone and boasts a melody line and a chorus that sounds like an old friend, giving center-stage to frontman Dave Feldman’s gold-medal sneer as he namedrops some influences: “so turn up the volume, turn up my IV, Joey, and Bowie and little old me” over a Ramones-like three-chord rocker.

It doesn’t take long to build on the strength of the opener and the cavity-inducing sugary melodies of ‘Neon Nightmare‘ and ‘Get Well‘ overtop of spirited power-pop will thrill anyone with a love for any of the aforementioned bands.

Kiss and Tell‘ opens like the Dandy Warhols’ ‘Bohemian Like You‘ but the similarities stop there and by the time chorus hits you’d be a zombie if you didn’t move to its anthemic energy. The video (posted below) may or may not offer an homage to a certain sneering Gallagher brother and as a song, it certainly carries itself with Oasis attitude but ‘Kiss and Tell‘ is Wyldlife at their absolute best, with Feldman declaring: ‘I’d rather be ignored than be adored.’

Automatic‘ and ‘Crime of the Scene’ are both mid-tempo radio-friendly bops (is that even a thing anymore?) and they tee-up the exuberant punk blow-out of ‘Sacré Bleu.’ The title track is where the musicianship really shines, as guitarist Samm Allen rips an undeniably catchy infectious riff (like a heavy sped-up version of ‘Hazy Shade of Winter‘), with bassist Spencer Alexander and drummer Stevie Dios getting a full-body workout.

Tulsa Superstar‘ is a 70s style power-pop gem complete with handclaps and ‘Keeping Up With C.T.‘ could slide onto Bash and Pop’s ‘Friday Night is Killing Me‘ and you wouldn’t even notice. Lyrically It appears to be a shout out to RMBLR, Dinos Boys, The Heart Attacks frontman the notorious Chase Tail (Noles). Album closer ‘The Falcon‘ is easily the heaviest rocking tune on the album and will seduce anyone into mid-80s arena sleaze rock, showing the versatility this band has in their pocket.

In the end ‘Year of the Snake‘ is as solid as a rock without a sleeper anywhere to be found. Buy it now.


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We hooked up with Dave Feldman for a few lockdown questions.

What’s it like releasing a new album during a global pandemic?

In mid-March when everything started to close around the city and tours were getting canceled all over the country, we were terrified that this album would come out and fall by the wayside of everyone’s (justified) panic and frustration and sadness and anger. With that in mind, we actually had a discussion with the label to see if we could push the album back but by then it had been too late. The wheels were too far in motion. So at that point, we just worked super hard on promoting it and giving fans something to hopefully look forward to. And the response has been tremendously positive and kind. Then we put out the music video the following week to keep people entertained. The whole process has made us have to push a bit harder but to see how stoked it’s making our fans (plus the reviews thus far) is fucking fantastic.

How have you and the band been holding up?

Everyone is chilling. Sam and Stevie sought refuge with their families, Spencer and I are holed up in our respective apartments. I’m the only one not working but the unemployment is pretty awesome. Just trying to stay busy and not drink too much.

What’s on your quarantine playlist? (I have ‘Get Well’ on mine).

As far as new stuff that’s come out during this, I’ve really been into the new track from Jordan Jones, the new RMBLR single, and the new tunes from Bad Mother, and Fast Eddy. I’ve been listening to the newest Cornershop record a lot, and the three tracks from the forthcoming Pretenders record. Other than that, just listening to all the Creation Records catalog after watching the Upside Down documentary.

I know it’s hard to guess, but what are the best-case scenario plans for the rest of the year?

At this point just trying to stay positive. Obviously we’d like to tour and shit but who knows what’s gonna happen. So barring that, the best case would be getting some good reviews and getting some of these new tunes into a commercial or a movie or something, get some new fans that way. I want some cash, I got some stuff I wanna buy.


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One foot in the door
The other one in the gutter

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