If you’re familiar with the beloved American alternative rock band Kill Hannah, you should know all about the group’s founder and frontman Mat Devine; the singer/songwriter/author has gone solo for the very first time, releasing his debut album Gold Blooded under his pseudonym Wrongchilde. Aside from Kill Hannah, Devine was casted as Grim Hunter in the 2010 broadway production of Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark, he contributed a blog for Fuse.TV before leaving the company to form his own blog, The Racoon Society; Devine has also ventured into the fashion industry and wrote a book called Weird War One: The Antihero’s Guide to Surviving Everyday Life based on questions by users and his responses from The Racoon Society’s site. It will be interesting to see how somebody with credible online and musical presence can express himself through his own work; ladies and gentleman, this is Wrongchilde’s Gold Blooded.
The album goes off to a good start with Birds Of Prey, it has a steady beat and the vocal isn’t over-the-top; towards the end of the track combines alternative rock with synths, giving it a flawless finish. For a forty-year old, Devine’s voice sounds as if he is just beginning his career in rock music; this vocal youthfulness really brings Just Call Me Crash down to Earth, it make for easy-listening. Title-track Gold Blooded is opened by the mellow beat of the drums and vocally explores all dynamics of Devine’s highly soft vocal range, this track is consistent with his poetic insight to songwriting; My Chemical Romance’s former frontman Gerard Way (also going solo) lends a warranted hand in the mellow Falling In Love Will Kill You, a song written about the dangers involved with being smitten by love.
Hopeless Beach‘s introduction is played in one of the slowest tempos featured on the album, yet the fuller sound landing in the second verse makes it seem like the song picks up at the same pace. Wrongchilde and White Sea (aka Morgan Kibby) join forces to record a wonderful cover of Pat Benatar’s classic hit Love Is A Battlefield, they give the song a revamp with an awesome indie/pop vibe; we are serenaded by Devine and another guest vocalist Sierra Kusterbeck in Dance To Your Heartbeat, it’s by far the cheesiest track on the album. Frostbite Year is the least memorable track from the album, not because it’s awful, it’s just not as intriguing as its predecessors; Lace Up Your Boots has both a fast and a slow pace giving it an interesting dynamic, and finally Slow is as its name suggests but doesn’t fail to impress.
Gold Blooded is a work of art, Wrongchilde/Mat Devine successfully managed to branch out from his work with Kill Hannah to create something he should be extremely proud of; and he’s done it without the hurdles a record label would produce and is funding the project through PledgeMusic, a crowd funding website where the fans donate money to make the project happen. Gold Blooded hits the spot, each artist featured on the record played the perfect role to raise the bar and each song has its sole sound and purpose on the album; it will be interesting to hear more from Devine’s solo work, he is a poet at heart and effortlessly touches your soul with his harmonies and his lyrics.