The Wild Waiting – Stay Gold
This four piece from the Boston area has honed their penchant for European flavored power pop to an impressive extent for a debut effort. Stay Gold’s six tracks are fully realized musical works with melodic depth and a tour de force vocal from lead singer Gav. The production is focused on accentuating the band’s melodic and vocal strengths, but the rhythm section and swaths of strategically aimed guitar work add considerable color to otherwise outstanding songs. The EP has a discernible flow thanks to the band’s masterful job sequencing tracks; thanks to their attentiveness, Stay Gold opens and ends quite memorably.
“All My Life” is the EP’s first single. Later songs certainly could have made an impact given similar exposure, but releasing and positioning this track as listeners’ first exposure to Stay Gold reveals a larger purpose. The layered arrangement hinges largely on propulsive drumming and a thick blanket of keyboards to carry the melody. Other instruments like guitar and bass provide practical and ornamental support, but every instrument is turned towards the purpose of communicating the song’s engaging message. “Burn with Me” hits a subtler note without ever sacrificing any of the band’s melodic intensity. It’s deployed differently here and the lyrics are likewise less bombastic and anthemic than in the preceding track. “Say the Right Words” is the closest that Stay Gold comes to a straight up rock song while still retaining the same sonic blueprint defining the first two tracks. “2AM Fearless” shares the preceding songs rock leanings, but it’s more clearly aimed for a specific audience and its music and message are tailored exclusively in that direction. It is interesting to hear the band’s lyrics take a darker, more dangerous turn here to counterbalance the general glow of health pervading the surrounding tracks.
“Someone To Go With” is full of the aforementioned positivity, but the band’s point of view is never simplistic. Despite whatever disappointments might arise, The Wild Waiting’s songs talk about engaging life and the value of continuing to move over each obstacle. The vocals capture every ounce of that lust for life. The album’s conclusion, “Stay Gold”, is a magnificent title track that somehow takes the ambition of the opener and expands on it with its startling contrast of light and shade in the acoustic guitar driven passages and the song’s epic choruses. Despite any sonic pageantry, The Wild Waiting never loses their way. The consideration given to each individual movement is palpable and never smacks of self indulgence. It ends the EP on a spectacular high and adds an exclamation point to the band’s potential. It’s clear that The Wild Waiting has many more mountains to climb, but their artistic strength is amply demonstrated on this debut release. The needed elements for massive success are here. Their songwriting vision never sounds like some stripped back four piece rock band – instead, the band’s songs play like products from four musicians willing to try anything once.
9 out of 10 stars.