Mittwoch, 26. Februar 2014

The Wild Young Hearts - California Dreams: Let california dreaming begin with blithe, brisk and bracing 'feel good' surf rock

'I want you to move to California for yourself, I want you to find whatever your heart needs, I want you to move to California for yourself, but not for me'. - Delta Spirit

Wanderlust. The desire to embark on, to embrace the unknown, to let unsolved irritation, frustration or only pending business lie still for a while, recharge one's batteries, then emerge with reclaimed clarity, verve and balance of mind. In a sense, it's escapism - you move apart from what chains you, what weights you down, what weights upon you, and for a brief moment you feel loosed, unburdened, alive. You can draw on this moment, revisit, relive it whenever you need to. You hold onto this moment, this memory of a maybe long gone journey, you recall it, venture to live through it once more, with nostalgia, melancholia, but also with excitement, curiosity and a certain thirst for adventure, the instrusive yet decent wish for diversion, for undertaking a new journey, for indulging in refreshing and exhilarating, in new impressions and experiences yet again.

Setting out for a journey doesn't necessarily mean though to depart. It's often mental journeys that tickle one's senses, make for an even more intense, lasting imprint and impact on mind and soul. It therefore is an emotional and incisive stamp that embodies and evokes memories once made, ensures they linger on softly, awaken now and then by acquainted smells, sights and sounds, whereas sparkling, enthralling incentives invite to discover, perceive explicitly and herald a journey into the unknown. From then on you roam, reach different, exoctic and fascinating places which seem to have waited for you to explore even their hindmost corner, for you to advance audaciously into them. It shows, you don't have to move, but to indulge, to open up to mental roaming, to be responsive to personal, exhaustive pictures painted, to be responsive to sentimental colored sceneries, to be responsive to dreamy, distant echos, at last to let the venturous appeal of the new within be stimulated, let it grow stronger and inspire the desire to wander on vague ground.

With California Dreams The Wild YoungHearts (formerly known as Streetcar Rendezvous) call on the listener to come along on their invigorating, thrilling journey, incite wandering as their music comes in like a fresh breeze that swipes your skin lightly and leaves a brisk feel, which makes you shiver for excitement, reminiscent of the still concrete seemingly cold breath and on account of the lucidity given for a short period of time: it's an acute moment, briming over with new details, yet also allowing to silence preceding sorrows. You are captured in that very moment, are deeply involved, when the wind storms boldly and intends for the former unease to expire, to vanish into thin air. At that time the journey has already been initiated - and in the case of the LA-based foursome a colourful, dreamful still dynamic tonal landscape is lying ahead. One that is compelling yet doesn't force anything, one that entertains instead of challenging, lecturing the listener.

With this in mind, let's california dreaming begin now …

Light-hearted lyrics, a catchy and buoyant sound - this is how 'Spend The Night', the album's first single, comes upon the audience. Rough and imbuing vocals tell of an imponderable physical appeal, the thereof subsequent, almost desperate compulsion to approach the object of desire, to be close to the one person the song's persona is drawn to. Spirited drum beats, exciting and tense riffage resound before the chorus - a flattering, also frentic, still resolute request to spend the night in the persona's company - sets in, which is determined by a melodic and breezy guitar backing. 'So enough with the dancing, let's get to romancing, baby' - an eventful, lively guitar arrangement serves as a prelude, when pungent, energetic riffage and rhythmic drum beats herald in the cheecky chorus for a last time, but with a lasting effect on the listener. What a raving compositional concept, what pace from the very beginning ...

Same topic but different. Not out of appeal and affection but out of monotony and unrest, discontent within his relationship, the persona of 'Supermodel' longs for something adventurous, something bracing, and if it's only a love affair. The urgent yearning for a fresh start with someone else is convincicly recorded in the fiercely, unsteadily fluttering instrumental intro of the composition: blurry and insistent riffage create a concrete tonal tension, an edged and jumpy instrumental vibrancy and reveal the weak points of the relationship, its downfall. A resolution though is fast at hand and firmly stated as bold, demanding and severely clangorous vocals utter: 'First things first, I wanna let you know, baby, I'm going home to fuck a supermodel' - the instrumentation expands, ponderous drum beats rise, heavily flaring and oscilating riffage rings. When dimly echoing backing vocals are added, the message of the song couldn't be more apparent: the querulous, bitter lover has put his previous relationship behind, is sick of the games and want to be left alone for good. It's a blunt and daring remark, one that certainly entails the intention to hurt, embodied to the point by sassy and strong vocals, by an audacious and rousing sound. It might be a fictional payoff with one's failed relationship, yet depicts an absorbingly unaltered, trenchant point of view.

'Somebody Else' addresses itself to an altered relational storyline, illustrates a seemingly failing romantic bond, and depends on audible and narrative contrasts. Whilst one of the lovers sees their relationship threatened - compositionally expressed through a dashing, thrilling cymbal sound and enhancing, sonorous drum beats - the other (lovely 'portrayed' by Geneva Pina) asserts that there is no reason to worry, being busy, uncommunicative at times is rather a facet of her nature, than evidence for having a love affair with somebody else. As the track unfolds, edgy, harsh and darkened vocals come upon the listener and give voice to doubts about the stability, about the relevance of the relationship, doubts which are, shortly after they have been expressed, eased by charming, wispy and suave vocals though. The uncertain lover is lured in by a smooth-tongued, ingratiating sound of colour, just as sweet in resonance as the promises and assertions themselves are, and along with the overall vivacious, bright sound, the dominant elated guitar riffs the listener is led to believe that this romantic tale isn't about to end soon.

Whereas the version of 'Sleep' on Pretty Girls (EP) came in as a melancholic, gloomy (yet melodically vibrant) song, rather reserved in instrumentation, which laid emphasis on a regretful, pitiful reflection of the failed relationship, the remastered version of the composition, as featured on California Dreams, draws on a jauntier sound, yet involves a sentimental and revelatory storytelling still. Cocky and rough vocals, a stressed scratchy and unclean timbre, a rhythmic drum, a fuzzy and severely atmospheric bass, a prevailing, impetuous guitar array certainly add to the more dynamic feel of the song. Maybe the distance to, the reconsideration of the run of events that inspired 'Sleep' allowed a new perspective, allowed to see the events in a different light, maybe the band's determination to adapt the song to the light character of the entire record, brought about this change. A lyrical testimony to the brighter, more perky sound, to the compositional adjustment is however strikingly obvious.

The slightly blue, laid-back and appolonian atmosphere of 'Hurricane Darling' as well as the bluesy, harmonic, treacly backing vocals evoke a serene and placid scenery: a lover recalls his past relationship, is lost in thoughts, has found a place of privacy at the nocturnal shore, possibly watches the waves break as he admits his heartache. The song's instrumental arrangement adopts the fluent, balmy and mellow flow of the waves being washed up on the beach, leaves room for an evocative, incisive notch though too. Soft but conspicuous drum beats, brisk, lively and striking riffage clashes with sensitive and emotive vocals of firm timbre. It's a composition meant to make you wander, meant to incite motion and emotion on the big screen.

Catchy and clingy, that is 'Katie'. With lyrics easy to grasp and relate to - a lover ponders over a lost relationship, yet not mournfully but realistically and reasonably - with an infectious and nonchalant sound, the listener is immediately drawn into the song. Sonorous and sharp vocals, a light and breezy riffage, which rapidly gains reverberant intensity and tonal gravity - representing the moments the love flourished - a heavy bass line - indicating the impending fate of the relationship - and atmospheric drum beats come together and make for an orotund listening experience. At the point when the chorus sets in, the instrumentation broadens, an awoken sound rises: it's a fast-paced, feisty one, extended by a perky, briskly vibrating instrumental interlude, which dashes exciting drum beats and passionate yet dark and edgy vocals. For a second time the chorus is imposingly introduced as the vocals are focused 'Katie I don't understand...' for a brief moment suspended by a forceful and vigorous drum and bass array, then taken up again '...what it means to be your man. Oh, I let you down, I'm the reason everything is wrong' and followed up by classic rock riffage, flittering and vibrant in sound, as well as by swinging, exuberant drum beats. Love has been a fantasy this time, a daydream of abiding pleasent memory, difficult but necesserary to let go.

A drastic, far-reaching experience is exposed when the vivifying surf rock sound of 'Diamond Street' springs up: the first yet defining contact with music. Eager and ardent, virtually stormy vocals unveil 'I spent my early days on my board, 'till a rastafari man taught me chords' - and jaunty, almost jubilant chords join in indeed. Infectious and dashing melodies of high and free spirit, vivacious drum beats and piercing, blazing riffage tell in the course of the track about a venturous, rampant, foremost intense, emotional attachement to music, yet also about belonging, conversance 'cause only one place feels like home to me, that's down on Diamond Street'. A surprising but memorable brief drum encore gives the song a final kick.

The eponymous track of the album is not only a an ode to California, but also, as the The Wild Young Hearts stated in an interview, the band's signature sound, and it's apparent why. Claiming to make youthful, diverting and bold music, 'California Dreams' resounds with blithe and brisk guitar riffs, emphatic and cadenced drum beats and incporporates a good feeling. Smoothly progressing and furnished with absorbing and exhilarant polyphonic elements the song takes along on a ride through the lover's memory 'I can't bring you back so I just flip through pictures of you', and depicts local, californian features.

The first part of '16' is highlighted by cheery and inciting guitar riffs, internalizes a contagious summer feel and brings the lover's larking and far-reaching affection to mind - in remembrance of first love the sound is refreshing and adventurous. The chorus' chanting and candid prelude exhibits anthem characteristics, the chorus itself splits with enthusiasm, is upbeat and fun. The second part of the song is then defined by imbuing and energetic drum beats, further on carried by bold and distinguishing, every now and then framed by high-pitched backing vocals. It's an endearing nonetheless spirited composition that bears a nostalgic feel, eagerly welcomed by the audience.

New arranged, still vehement and impressive in both message and sound, 'What We Know Is Wrong' comes into the blithe and amusing, sunny and breezy, at times pondering and languorous, at times fervent and electrifying picture of the LA foursome's debut record. Its unaltered critical - means evocative, trenchant - and heavy - means sonorous, impetuous - undercurrent is balanced, punchy in sound though, through cocky and feisty vocals, is backed by an energetic instrumenation, which is in turn characterized by pulsative, shaky still fierce riffage, most notably in the second half of the composition. Additional, pungent vocal layers contribute to the dynamic colour of sound now, whereas on Pretty Girls (EP) RJ Wallace's rap interlude gave a distinctive shape to 'What We Know IsWrong', loosened the severe and solid song structure for a bit, yet fortified the lyrical aspect.

The Wild Young Hearts' debut album conjures easy, effortless and entertaining music, music that makes the listener feel good and invites him to escape, to find a place of lightheartedness and bliss within the sound presented. In fact it's an easy formula - fun + airy, melodic sound = memorable music - the recent release of the LA rock outfit relies on, yet it is one that works.
Indulging in California Dreams is a blithe and brisk experience, and just as the songs on the record make the audience come along, herald in a mental wandering, the band has too been on a journey, has grown in sound and found their place: it's California, the home of feisty, perky natured, vigorous rock music, heavy lingering, spirited sound, energetic and frantic live shows even, the home of a wide and exciting range of musical genres mixed, it's sweeping still rousing surf rock.

'And we'd drive up the coast, though we would have no place to go in mind.'  - California Dreams stirs your imagination and offers plenty, so get the album now.

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.... listen to their music on soundcloud and bandcamp ....

Read the review of The Wild Young Hearts' EP Pretty Girls here.

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