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Not-so-wild adult nights

Wild Light - Adult Nights
(StarTime International)
2 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: July 17, 2009
Wild Light

Review by Tony Bonyata

It's probably no wonder that the New Hampshire-based rock quartet Wild Light are receiving a noticeable amount of interest in the music press. Considering that frontman Tim Kyle got his start in the first incarnation of Arcade Fire, as well as opening for a who's-who of notable acts such as The Killers, MGMT, Tapes 'N Tapes, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem and most recently Brooklyn indie darlings Stellastarr*, it's only natural for music journalists and bloggers to salivate like Pavlov's dog expecting that fresh new cut of meat. While not quite the 'New York Strip' many were hoping for, Wild Light still manages to deliver a rather satisfying platter on their debut full-length effort, Adult Nights.

Produced by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliot Smith, Guided By Voices) Adults Nights is brimming with melodic, hook-filled pop songs that, while never reaching the emotional highs and passion of Kyle's earlier band, carefully avoids some of the pretensions of like-minded pop rockers Coldplay. The opening track and first single from the album "California On My Mind" is a contradiction of sunny West Coast indie pop and deep loathing of The Golden State (rife with f-bombs), and, at least from a musical standpoint, sets the tone for the rest of the album. While many will find numbers such as "Canyon City," "Heart Attack" and the peppy "My Father Was A Horse" pleasing, many of these compositions ultimately come up a bit short. You'd think that with so many rich melodies and chorale hooks that this stuff would stick like glue, but, somehow, it all sounds not only vaguely familiar, but, oddly enough, downright forgettable.

Straddling between elitist indie rock and Clear Channel-approved modern-rock radio fodder is no easy feat, and while Wild Light tries their hardest to keep things in balance they ultimately, and unfortunately, fall more into the latter category.

Wild Light will be opening for Stellastarr* on Thu. July 23rd at Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL (312) 489-3160

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