Wild Son – Self-titled – Album Review
Wild Son is a five-piece folk rock band from Kelowna, BC, but describing them like that doesn’t do them justice, so let me try again. Wild Son is a band of musicians who are challenging the notions of what can be defined as “folk” music both on the West Coast and all over Canada. Their debut self-titled full-length is a well-crafted piece of music that has a clear progression from beginning to end. It aptly displays the depth of musicianship and creativity of the players while simultaneously grabbing the attention of the listener. The record was recorded at Arc House Studios and Music City Studios in Kelowna, engineered by Sean Perdue of Half Capo Productions and mastered by CPS Mastering in Vancouver. Wild Son began as a duet but has rounded their sound out with a full band in the best decision since stuffing peanut butter in pretzels. The band is now Kieran McCaffrey on lead vocals, guitar and harmonica, Cam Wilks is the beating heart on percussion, Mitch Howanyk provides the ever playful sounds of violin and mandolin, Aaron DeSilva slaps the bass and Eric Disero, the group’s most recent addition, tickles the keys.
Following up their 2013 four-track EP “Franklyn Road”, the self-titled release provides a bigger picture and clearer view into the intricacies of Wild Son’s music. “Hello Sunrise” starts the album off just like the sunrise starts the day, playful, lax and curious. The riffs then become a funkier excursion, just as your day would progress through a morning routine of toothpaste and coffee. “Crystal Archives” is the upbeat Wild Son take on a classic folk feel with violin notes dancing around an acoustic guitar. The track, along with “Truth is a Lie” and “Don’t Follow Me” are recycled and recorded from the band’s previous release. As the self-titled is only eight tracks it does leave the average music fan wondering why there couldn’t be a few more fresh tunes, however the complexity in song arrangement is admirable and undoubtedly time tolling. “Sid Tosh” feels like a fiddler set loose in a big city. It’s got that small town sound with suave, radio friendly vocals. “What It’s Been” is the kind of song you loose control of your body too, toe tapping, head bopping, hip swaying kind of music. “Build The Future” starts off like any great rock song would, a catchy guitar riff and drumbeat. The contrast between guitar and violin make for a fun duel and my favourite track on the album. “Whipped Cream” is the last song on the album and really sends Wild Son off on a high note; I hope they play this song last in their live set. The overdriven guitar makes me wonder, ‘are they a rock band with folk influence or a folk band with rock influence? Does it even matter?’ A funky keyboard solo proceeded by some crazy string work near the end of the track make sure that everyone gets their turn in the limelight. McCaffrey’s crass vocals have worked hard all through their album and this is their payoff.
To put it plainly Wild Son’s self-titled release is a really fun record. It’s the kind of music you want to share with your friends and dance with your beer in the air to. The album comes out on December 4 and the band is having a release party the night of, if you’re a British Columbian or in the area you can get more info on that here. With this album Wild Son is breathing West Coast air into Canadian folk and tingeing the genre with a surf rock influence that is totally radical, to say the least.