Review Summary: Set yourself free - listen to The Wild.
Just so you know, we're all going to die someday. Yes, it's only a matter of time before each and every one of us will be forced to realize just how insignificant and fleeting our lives are. Whether it's blatantly obvious or perfectly subtle, Atlanta natives The Wild are conveying exactly that message…yet they do so with one of 2010's premier feel-good records. Now I'm sure this seems like an overt contradiction - such sentiments of inevitable mortality can't possibly be triggered via dopamine-releasing sing-songs, right? Not quite, as Set Ourselves Free
wastes not a single second of it's thirty-one minute time span doing exactly this.
Focusing on stripped to the roots indie/punk tunes, The Wild never boast more than the simplest combination of guitar, bass and drums, with the occasional soulful whines of a harmonica. Vocalists Dianna and Witt complement this simplicity delightfully with their charismatic and optimistic lyrics, alternating and occasionally uniting on vocal duties from record's inception to conclusion. What's so magical about their songwriting is their ability to find beauty and charm even in life's gloomier aspects, whether it be having no money or simply sensing life's impermanence. "But don't feel death or your mortality, just let it be the motivation that you need to live the life you want to lead…and sing!
" This genuinely positive outlook creates a record with an undeniably feel-good atmosphere, yet it does so without being overbearingly cheerful. Just as The Wild understand the limitations of their own lives, Set Ourselves Free
maintains a certain humbleness in its tone as to not sound feigned or supercilious.
Witt and Dianna express an unconditional love both for any random neighbor and for life itself. "My heart swells at the sight of a stranger. I wonder if they're lonely, if they're loved, if they've got anyone,
" sings Witt on "Together Underground", a song written simply about sticking together and looking out for each other. Such tracks almost make you feel bad for the times you weren't a friendlier, more tolerant person, yet all the while accepting you for the egoistic and erroneous individual that we all have the capacity to be. It's not entirely a mushy-gushy record, with a song like "Breathe City Lights" taking on an edgier sound, one which the band still execute flawlessly.
All in all, Set Ourselves Free
is looking out not only for itself, but also for its neighbor, and it urges the listener to do the same. From the raw but friendly D.I.Y. lyrics of "Everything We Need", to the serene moment near the end of "Dear Noah", in which the world's rotation practically slows down and then resumes uninterruptedly along with the music, to the quirky "Punk Rock Queen" bonus track, The Wild have a blast on this record. The lyrics truly cherish all of life's little blessings, though not in a religious way. Sings Witt, "[i]Oh I've never been much for religion… let's make love our revolution!" So let's be friendly to our neighbors and remember that next to trees, our problems really are quite minuscule. Get out there and smile - if you can't find a reason to, well then just give this record another spin.