Closer is the second album from Nashville five-piece Wild Cub, a playful and rousing follow-up to their debut back in 2014. The band have graced the stages of American TV which saw them selling out arenas, and on Closer the band maintain a powerful momentum.
Wild Cub know the power of one good single and on Magic, they appear to have had lightning strike twice. A happy-go-lucky anthem, the Depeche Mode inspired synths propel this tune to festival anthem levels of catchiness. Frontman Keegan DeWitt is able to steer his voice to provide both depth and lightness concurrently – effecting an airy sense of joy and enthusiasm throughout. Speak follows much the same pattern but; by focusing more on the power of synths, Wild Cub prove themselves capable of more than just stadium rock fodder.
Once again, Clicks highlights a band at the top of their game when it comes to delivering a cohesive sound, yet 11 tracks worth of similarly styled tunes do not always maintain their original excitement. Unfortunately it does mean Closer merges into one indiscernible amalgamation of tracks, with synth intros and big choruses the new go to formula. It is only really on Somewhere do the band give a glimpse of their ability to diversify somewhat, filling The Gaslight Anthem shaped void many will never knew they had in their lives.
Fire is the album’s undisputed highest peak, with a pushing momentum that delivers on every line. It burns bright like the fire of it’s namesake, Wild Cub losing it all to the spirit of the song in a gleeful abandon. This is a fundamental road trip track made for window down driving towards idyllic sunsets in some paradise city. If Fire is the rise, then Rain is the emotional fall. Steel pans welcome the echoing vocals of DeWitt, whose forlorn tones suddenly dispel like clouds to give way to yet another upbeat tune.
Wild Cub have struck upon a formula that; for the most part, is a winning one. From The Killers to Paramore, rock and synths are once again responsible for some of the catchiest tracks around, but many are sensible not to flog the horse too much and Wild Cub may have been a little too overeager by recycling the same sounds on almost every song here. Closer remains an enjoyable listen, with plenty of highs and few lows which will no doubt delight the many fans they have garnered throughout their careers.