Wild Ways
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Wild Ways

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Never has the sound of going wild ever sound so mature. Over the years, and particularly in the advent of YOLO, countless songs and videos have capitalized on the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality, becoming an anthem for many a teenager’s iPod. However, bands are already starting to rebel against this message, such as Japandroids in “Younger Us.”

Which brings the spotlight to Wild Ways, a Vancouver noise-pop duo consisting of Kyle McCrea and Conrad Black (not the ex-con media baron, but how awesome would that be if the actual Conrad Black were playing in a new wave band? Think about that for a minute). Their music is loud and catchy and celebratory. In other words, their music seems to make perfect sense when looking at their name.

What you will experience will listening is a plethora of electronic sounds, sometimes with the addition of electric guitar. Rather than use these sounds to create an atmosphere that must be dissected via multiple listens, the listener is instead given a wall of sound. The half-talking vocals here suit the generally chaotic ambiance.

Opener “25 20 12? will quickly immerse the listener in the Wild Ways sound. A few quick taps on percussion give way to several different lines of synthesizers. The lyrics are usually straightforward, such as the first lines in this song: “Oh what to do? We already won/So we’ll just have to wait for the morning sun.”

A key progression begins the strongest song on the EP, “Yesterday.” There is a definite atmosphere of nostalgia here, as shown by the opening lyrics “When the sun hits the ground/And summer comes around/Where do you go?” The sun, and general references to warmth, are prominent on this EP.

“Teen Springs” and “You Always Win” both make greater use of analog instruments like the guitar and keyboards while still blending together with walls of electronics. The latter song is very heavy on guitar and shows an even more raucous side of the duo.

Where “You Always Win” was loud, “Common Ground” is soft. A gentle whirring synth line and a pulsing one open up the song, with some softer vocals as well. The sound rises a bit and there are some great flourishes of percussion.

The EP ends with the awesomely-titled “Jaguar Mode.” This instrumental song sounds like something out of Shout Out Out Out Out, of whom the guys of Wild Ways are apparently good friends with. There are several layers to this song, and most likely the line that will remain will be the rather unique pulsing sound that punctuates the song every few seconds.

McCrea and Black seem to know what they want to do with their music, and they should be commended for being able to restrain their sound to create contained chaos. The EP is a name-your-price download from Bandcamp.

Top Track: “Yesterday”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good) - Greyowl Point


Vancouver based Edmonton Kyle McCrea & Conrad Black (not the crook) have joined forces to bring us Wild Ways. We have here a modern new-wave synthesis of dead pan vocals delivered over electronics avec distorted axe that would have New Order themselves giving the fatherly nod. ‘Teen Springs’, a racing pulse of distant arpeggios, chants “Run like the buffalo!” directly into this reviewer’s heart. Perhaps it will chant something into yours as well. Bon appetit: - Argue Job


WILD WAYS is the work of Vancouver’s Kyle McCrea and Conrad Black. Recently, the electronic/new wave duo dropped their debut EP and we can’t seem to get enough of it here at The iM – now it’s time to share it with you.

Check out the self-titled effort in the player below – you can even download it under the “name your price” option. Just for the record, we’re really feeling 20 25 2012 and You Always Win.

Presumably the guys will have some upcoming dates in the Vancouver area this fall, so keep your eyes and ears open. - The Indie Machine


Vancouver new-wave band Wild Ways has recently released an eponymous EP for free download on their Bandcamp. The duo uses live analog instruments and digital sequencers to create their sound, which has hints of Wolf Parade, especially on the first track “25 20 12.”

The duo is working on a full-length, slated to be released in 2013. I’ll keep my ears peeled for that, and keep you updated.
- Earbuds & Ticket Stubs


Wild Ways is a Vancouver two piece, Kyle McCrea and Conrad Black. This is their first EP, which they recorded and mixed themselves. The six tracks have a slick retro electronic feel: unapologetic four-on-the-floor beats, unpretentious and satisfying chord progressions, woven together with grungy analog synth drones, and repetitive, trance-inducing melody lines that flutter like dayglo moths under a blacklight.

The duo’s vocals approach throughout Wild Ways has a detached, druggy feel. all reverb tracers, and street lights reflected in the windshield; a melancholy yet resilient come-down in the hours before dawn. The layers of synth and sequencing create lushly textured sonic waves that wash over the listener in groovy, meditative streams.

This is dance music, but it flows with sensual languor, tickling the pineal gland and inducing a dreamy feeling of being set adrift in the ocean of the eternal. “Yesterday,”one of the catchier tracks, features flickering high-end arpeggiator rhythms, grounded by a low-end riff that uses the pitch-bender in a way that verges on erotic.

I once had a conversation with the boys of Wild Ways where they explained that it was necessary to practice as loud as possible, since when performing, suddenly commanding a much higher volume than one was used to could induce a kind of sonic vertigo. It’s like getting behind the wheel of a Ferrari when you’re used to driving a Honda Civic. When I remembered this little nugget of wisdom, I cranked the EP through a P.A. system and found that the range of frequencies coming through at this level was more palpable and visceral, and sounded really fucking awesome.

Overall, Wild Ways’ EP is a promising first release, particularly if you are an analog aficionado. Just don’t insult this effort by listening to it on laptop speakers. - Discorder Magazine


Whether you've got an arsenal of impressive moves or not, Wild Ways just wants you to get up and dance.

The electronic duo, forged by Conrad Black and Kyle McCrea, has been on a mission to get audiences out of their seats and create music that bridges modern electronic and indie rock ever since relocating from Edmonton to Vancouver a year-and-a-half ago. The pair's musical connections were solidified in their early teens, when Black and McCrea started lending their talents to various music ventures ranging in style from punk rock to country, with Wild Ways being created last October over a desire to bring something unique to contemporary music, not to mention a healthy obsession with analog recording gear.

"We kind of wanted to incorporate a different spectrum of sound to our music," explains Black, adding the pair consulted with friends from Shout Out Out Out Out and others in the electronic scene during the beginning phases of Wild Ways. "We realized that the more natural approach to making electronic music would be using analog gear instead of digital ... I guess we're mostly geek fanatics on vintage gear so we really study all our instruments and sounds, and really see the bands we listen to and how their sound is influenced, and kind of what pleases the ear in a warmer sense related to classical instruments and acoustic instruments."

The result has been the duo's debut self-titled EP, a sonically varied collection of tracks that brings the two musical worlds together in a way that Conrad says brings back some of their early musical influences and captures the raw energy of those years.

"There's a lot of changes happening, but you still have that raw power in yourself," he says. "We made that big move of moving over to Vancouver by ourselves and we made a pact to make something that's unique to ourselves, but also pulls from, and reminds us of that energy we had when we were younger and to still have that and to not ever lose that when we're growing up."
"Conrad listens to a lot of electronic music, I listen to a lot of lo-fi and garage rock and pop, " McCrea adds. "We both agreed that it was so much more fun if your audience could dance to it; even if the music is really good, it's a different element when people aren't just bobbing their heads to it. When people are having a lot of fun and dancing, you feed off that."

Fri, Dec 21 (8 pm)
With Physical Copies, Love Electric
Elevation Room, $10

Mon, Dec 31 (8 pm)
With Shout Out Out Out Out
Metro Cinema at the Garneau, $30 - Vue Weekly


*Listed as one 2012's best free releases. - Wake the Deak (UK)


Discography

No Hype (EP)
Wild Ways (EP)

Photos

Bio

Wild Ways is a two-piece electronic, new wave, and dark pop band based out of Vancouver, Canada. In 2011 Kyle McCrea, and Conrad Black joined together in a basement in their hometown of Edmonton with the common interest of making people move. Guided by a healthy obsession with vintage analog gear, the two are adamant in maintaining an organic and interactive approach to creating electronic music live.

They released Wild Ways (EP) in Aug 2012. The release of their No Hype (EP) set for Feb 2013, with a full length LP due spring 2013.