The Wild Family – The Wild Family

written by: February 2, 2014
Cover-Art-For-The-Wild-Family-EP-by-The-Wild-Family Release Date: February 4, 2014


Breaking up is hard, as Chicago four-piece The Wild Family clearly knows. Its new self-titled, debut EP is all about ladies, relationships, and discovering oneself.

The Wild Family consists of two brothers, lead singer and guitarist Jake and bassist Zack Schweitzer, along with lead guitarist Graham Young and  drummer Kevin Koreman. Young and the Schweitzer brothers started writing music together as college roommates in Chicago. Since then, their live gigs have evolved into a five-track EP.

Musically, the release is a mixed bag. The Wild Family is composed of exceptionally talented musicians. They will touch your heart with guitar-driven melodies that blend country music with indie-folk rock.

But at the end of the day, this EP is worth hearing only once. There are no memorable tunes; every song sounds like it’s been heard before.

The soft, mellow rock with a touch of pop music hardly makes The Wild Family unique, and the themes are all too familiar. The lyrics, upon inspection, become stale and uninspiring. To be fair though, the simple notes, soaring vocals, and creative songwriting skills give The Wild Family a pleasant, if not overly creative, sound.

The opening track, “Depths,” is an impressive two-part song that displays a peculiar dichotomy. The first part starts off as a folksy, slow ballad. Schweitzer’s vocals say it all: he sounds innocent, naïve, and youthful as he steps into the real world (he’s still in college), shouldering new responsibilities. After a brief pause, the second part of the song expands and it sounds like the whole band comes alive.

Things change up a bit with the second track, “White Shirt.”  It’s more lively and spontaneous; it almost sounds like parts of it were recorded live, and the production brings it to another level. The twangy guitar, strong chorus, and howling in the background is reminiscent of the Deep South. Instead of Schweitzer singing, Young takes over the mic, bellowing out in not too deep, but very gentlemanly vocals. His voice is surprisingly pleasant and fits perfectly with the song.

Young continues to sing in a very manly voice in “Empty Promises.” It lacks the vivaciousness of “White Shirt,” but the chorus is instantly catchy. Young’s vocals are emotional and bitter as he repeats the powerful chorus line, “Now you are alone/Now I am alone/So what the hell.” This chorus is a standout moment on the EP, delivering not only a memorable hook, but an emotional punch as well.

If there are two words to describe The Wild Family, they would be “extremely talented.” The young band’s debut benefits from stellar, detail-oriented production and musical ability. But despite the band’s immense potential, The Wild Family is not mesmerizing.

The EP feels like going to a favorite restaurant, ordering a favorite meal, and leaving less than satisfied. All the right ingredients were used, but the dish just doesn’t leave a lasting impression.

The Wild Family – The Wild Family tracklist:

  1. “Depths”
  2. “White Shirt”
  3. “Gold”
  4. “Empty Promises”
  5. “Granmaris”