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Jim DeRogatis

Wyldlife Champions Barbwire Bubblegum

With a sound they evocatively and accurately label “barbwire bubbegum”—“like a leather boot filled with Hawaiian Punch”—the four members of Wyldlife are based just across the Hudson River from Manhattan in my old stomping grounds of Jersey City. They’ve won some impressive fans in those parts, most notably the Dean of New Jersey Fanzine Editors Jim Testa (here’s an amusing interview he recently did with the boys), but also some guy named Stevie who’s rarely seen without a doo-rag on his head. They well deserve the accolades they’re collecting: After a three-year wait, the twentysomething foursome roars back with its third album Out On Your Block, an effervescent explosion of punkish power-pop that mixes equal parts Ramones and T. Rex, New York Dolls and Slade, with a slightly more polished production than past efforts. The sheen only enhances the musical snarl and lyrical sneer, making anthemic and hook-filled barn-burners such as “Contraband,” “Suburban Fever,” and “Teenage Heart” impossible to resist as you slam your head on the wall. Gabba gabba hey!

Wyldlife, Out On Your Block (Wicked Cool)

Rating on the 4-star scale: 3.5 stars.

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