1. Quittin’ Time
3. Stand By You
4. No Man’s Land
5. Two Broken Hearts
6. Golden Days
7. Big Sky
8. Hold Onto Love
9. Every Mornin’ I Quit Drinkin’
10. Daybreaker (Into the Great Unknown)
About 5 years ago, The Wild Feathers burst onto the scene with their self-titled debut album featuring a blend of Rock, Country, exquisite harmonies, multiple lead vocalists, and hook after hook. Reference points could have been the Eagles, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, etc. The band lost a little bit of their grittiness on second album ‘Lonely Is A Lifetime,’ and it took many listens for me to really dig into the whole of the album, although the song ‘Help Me Out’ became my favorite song by the band. A double live album at the Ryman helped fill the gap as we waited for this anticipated third album. ‘Greetings From The Neon Frontier’ finds the band crafting another fine album that should see their following grow with these 10 quality songs.
‘Quittin’ Time’ gets the album started with Ben Dumas pounding on the drums and setting up this rocker to get the blood flowing. The catchy riff carries some Rock power to it as well. This should be an anthem for everyone trying to reach their goals despite the challenges life throws at us. The band seems to have found a sonic sweet spot between those first two albums as this one captures some of that rawness that permeated the debut with a touch of the polish of the second album. The laidback midtempo ‘Wildfire’ is the perfect song for going on a long drive with the windows down as the band’s harmonies remain incredible on this album. One of the incredibly special aspects of The Wild Feathers is they utilize three different lead singers with their own unique qualities whose vocals blend together perfectly. I cannot think of another band today who can compare to what Taylor Burns (also guitar), Ricky Young (also guitar), and Joel King (also bass) are able to accomplish together. ‘Stand By You’ is another great rocker that contains multiple hooks and recalls their debut in terms of that grittiness I mentioned previously. Lyrically, their songs are incredibly relatable which gives them even more staying power.
‘No Man’s Land’ begins with a quick riff and leads into a quieter verse which the band use as a base to create one peak after another over the course of the 5 minute epic. The guitar work by Burns and Young is outstanding, and this is quite simply another classic by the band. The fiddle opening of ‘Two Broken Hearts’ introduces this mid album ballad that again showcases the vocal harmonies of the band with the quiet instrumentation allowing each individual and collective vocal to shine.
‘Golden Days’ turns up the Classic Rock again and starts the second half of the album off with another great song featuring soaring vocals. The tempo change around the last quarter of the song provides some additional power to the song before the chorus gets one last hook in the brain. ‘Big Sky’ is the first single and features a huge series of vocals to start the song. Musically, this should get them some airplay on country stations here in Texas as well as Classic Rock stations. Similar to ‘Golden Days,’ they work in another tempo change which makes it fun to blast while driving. ‘Hold Onto You’ showcases even more beautiful vocal work as the Soft Rock number recalls their previous album over the first half with more of a glossy production style used here. The guitar licks worked into the song provide some very nice nuances to the song as does the guitar solo to end the song.
As we hit the final stretch of the album, ‘Every Mornin’ I Quit Drinking’ opens up with a Spanish guitar feel and a laid back easy beat providing a contrast to the other songs on the album. I would be interested to hear how they do this one live as it feels like the studio version is missing something that would push it to the same level of the other songs for me. Finale ‘Daybreaker (Into the Great Unknown)’ provides an exclamation point to the album with another song that sounds great going down the highway. This song also has much more of an 80’s Rock feeling to me in terms of the production style used. It provides another hook in the brain that you will be humming and then singing later.
The Wild Feathers crafted a brilliant debut several years ago and then endured a bit of the sophomore slump to my ears, but I am happy to say this album really hits the mark for me. At only ten songs and under 40 minutes, it feels a little leaner than a lot of albums today which has given me more time to dig into these songs. This album shows The Wild Feathers continuing their growth as artists, and we are the lucky ones that get to hear these songs along the journey with them.
‘Greetings From The Neon Frontier’ is available now.
Website - http://www.thewildfeathers.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TheWildFeathers/
Review - Gerald Stansbury