I’ve been listening to The Wyld‘s new Abstract EP on repeat since it came out on Tuesday. It’s been the soundtrack to everything I’ve done—including my daily “cute puppies” Google Image Search. At first I didn’t notice a connection between the two, but then I started picturing adorable puppies acting out the songs as they played through my headphones. I don’t know why. I think I was dehydrated or something.
Anyway, it was a magical experience that made an already incredible EP all the more exciting. It even sorta made me want to be a puppy (even though I’m totally happy being a human – thanks Mom!) That being said, continue reading for a track-by-track breakdown of how each song would make me feel if I was a puppy.
Historical Note: I’m pretty sure this is the first puppy-centric music review in the history of the world (and it’ll undoubtedly be the last). Enjoy.
Good opening tracks should take the listener somewhere. Whether you’re looking to unwind after a long day at work or trying to get over whatever emotional meltdown happened to the Kardashians the night before, a good opener should act as an escape vehicle. It should take you to another world and introduce you to the aesthetic and themes of the rest of the album. Basically, you should feel like a puppy who just traded his boring house-dog lifestyle for a life on the road. As the title suggests, “Odyssey” does exactly that. The band’s atmospheric alt-rap/rock aesthetic makes itself immediately known, as a dark and moody “lone-wolf” theme develops. Away we go.
Do you ever feel like a neutered chihuahua? Be honest. I think we’ve all felt like rebelling against our boss/teacher/mom/whoever and thought about skipping town to live a life like an outlaw in one of those corny old western movies. If your inner animal feels like rebelling against the mundane day-to-day activities your life has turned into, put this song on. Let the Willy Moon-ish hook and rebellious lyrics of “Always On The Run” soundtrack your fantasy. Maybe even let it inspire a real rebellion and let that caged animal inside you free. Pretend you’re an adorable little puppy who’s taken enough shit from his neurotic 67-year-old owner and you finally have the nerve to bite her finger off the next time she tries to put your “cute” little sweater on.
Kid Cudi’s first two albums both have spots in my imaginary “favorite albums of all time” list. His lonely-stoner-who-feels-like-an-alien-in-this-crazy-world was a breath of very relatable fresh air. In addition, the hazy atmospheric production style that played behind his vocals became the sound that defined the last five years of popular music (and remains popular today). Since then, Cudi’s understandably felt the need to change up his style and experiment with different sounds, but the impact of his early material is undeniable. “Confusion” is clearly influenced by his early work.
The brooding sing-rap style, spacey instrumentation, and emotionally-in-touch lyrics would all feel at home on a Man On The Moon record. The distorted guitar solo that comes in at 2:50 even sounds like the work of Ratatat (frequent Cudi-collaborators). It’s important to stress this isn’t a bad thing, though. Although clearly inspired by Cudi, the band holds their own identity and style, avoiding sounding like a cheap cover band. The whole thing makes me feel like I’m Kid Cudi’s puppy back in 2009, high on second-hand weed smoke, listening to an unreleased song by my owner, completely content with the world.
I know they’ve never sent a puppy to space, but “Walk Away” makes me feel like one. I don’t believe anything that happens after the 2:35 mark happened on Earth. Those guitars were made in space and that distorted sample came from Mars. There’s no other explanation. I refuse to believe any of this happened in a terrestrial recording studio down the street from a fucking Denny’s or something. No way.
Do you ever leave the house for a night of embarrassing fist-pumping debauchery at the local dance club and feel bad for the dog you leave at home? You should. Dogs have the lamest Friday nights. Am I right? I kinda like to imagine a different scenario, though. I like to think your dog invites over the cute stray dog from down the street, puts something like “Wake Up” on the stereo, and engages in filthy immoral behavior on your living room rug. Whether that actually happens or not, this song will fit in nicely on a party playlist. Upbeat enough for a dance floor without sounding as douchey as everything else your friends want to play, “Wake Up” finds a nice balance. Or if corny cell-phone morning alarms are your thing, it’ll work for that too.
Note: The EP closer, “Revolution” isn’t available for Soundcloud embedding, so it was left off this review.
All puppy-related absurdities aside, this is one of my favorite EPs of the year. The Wyld have established a distinct sound that fits in nicely with current trends, while remaining unique and inventive. Abstract is a cohesive effort that’s successful in its (often tried but rarely successful) attempt to blend the sounds of rock and hip-hop. Easily the most polished work of their short career, it’ll be interesting to see how the band develops and grows from here. Lets all cross our fingers they don’t read this review and derail themselves with a dog-themed album or something. Anyway, this gets 4.5 puppies out of 5. Whatever that means. Just listen.