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Aberrations

The Wild Life (colored vinyl release)

Review by Gary Hill

This high quality red vinyl edition is limited to 500 numbered copies, so get yours quickly. Musically, I suppose the quickest explanation would be alternative rock, but there is quite a bit of range here. It’s often punk oriented, but that’s not the tightest fit either. All that said, this is a great album, from start to finish. It is quite a ride, really.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Side A

              
C'mon Baby

New wave, power pop and punk all merge on this catchy, energized rocker. It’s fun and effective opener.

I Really Don't Know
As good as the opener was, this is even stronger. It’s unusual, and yet oddly catchy. It has many of the same elements as the first song did, but it’s less straightline and predictable. I really love this piece, even if it’s not the instantly accessible slice of sound that we got in the first slot.
Crossing all the Lines

The opening section here is extended and has a lot of psychedelia built into it. They turn it out into a cool rocker from there with a great balance between mellower and harder edged stuff. That psychedelic edge remains throughout a lot of the song. Yet, there are also punky elements here. It’s a catchy and rather magical piece of music, really. The extended instrumental section really takes it into the stratosphere.

Fabulous Disasters
Another unusual cut, this is a work in contrasts. There are links to shoegaze type music built into this. It has a lot of rocking sections, but also mellow ones. In some ways it makes me think of the music done by Alice Cooper, when that name applied to both a band and a person. There is psychedelia built into this. It’s also got some definite punk rock in the mix. It’s a cool song, start to finish, really. The extended jam later in the piece merges space rock and psychedelia into something that might quality as shoegaze.
Side B
               
Hope For The Common Man

Although there is a lot of punk in the mix here, this also includes space rock and psychedelic elements. It’s another strong disc on a disc with no weak material.

Tigers
A mellower cut, this is built on space music, psychedelia and more. In fact, if more of the music here was like this, the disc would land under progressive rock. I really like this a lot. It has some serious magic and character built into it. It’s dreamy, but also evocative. I love the killer instrumental break. It’s harder rocking, but no less proggy. This is quite probably my favorite song of the whole album.
Still Bleeding
Harder rocking, there is a lot of punk in the mix here. In some ways, it makes me think of Lords of the New Church. It’s rather screaming hot in so many ways. It has some psychedelia built into it, and the guitar solo section is quite tasty. I can make out some shoegaze at times in the extended instrumental movement.
Circuits
Electronic music, dream pop and space rock all merge on this cool cut. Sure, I suppose you could mention shoegaze, too. This is another proggy piece.
It's Over
Punky space rock is the concept of this number. It’s got some great rocking bits for sure. It has some bouncy rock and roll in the mix, too. Yes, the punk elements really shine at times here. Yet, the instrumental section brings psychedelia. There are some screaming hot guitar solo moments, too.
 
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