Posted on April 10th, 2019
Wild Side is a Canadian band, Niagara Falls born — Niagara Falls, that garish streetscape crawling with hawkers, hustlers, boosters, and bad boys, that profaned Arcadia where life-affirming vistas of sublime natural beauty yield to an enveloping motley of eye-burning kitsch. Wild Side go at things as they have taught themselves, free-style, and they make records in their own way: first to book studio time, last to submit masters. And now, after five years that felt like ten, Wild Side have released a full-length that commands its listeners to practise scales eight hours a day, comb Kijiji.com for under-the-table cash jobs, and lament once again what the third Warzone LP should have been. For those who were planning to hibernate during this long winter of mawkish ’90s-chug revival, here are 10 songs built on speed, heaviness (in the old sense), deadpan humour, and riffs that check in at the brain’s pleasure centres and never check out — all with a syrupy overlay of flamboyant lead guitar that serves up NWOBHM, Zakk Wylde, Dr. Know, Jay Skin, and most every vibe in between. Topping it off is vocalist Brandon MacFarlane — Wild Side’s heart, soul, brain, and trapezius muscles — who ruminates at length, in an enlightened-everyman vernacular all his own, on eternal subjects such as the paper chase, the human body’s essential frailty, the scourge of fake friends, and what to do when the lights go out. These are the facts of life in the Falls, and this is real hardcore music from the last real city in North America.