Released on June 25, 2021 (Golden Robot Records)
A full decade on from their last album, 2011’s Faster….Louder, and after several of those intervening years in complete hiatus without ever actually splitting up, New York’s Wildstreet are now signed to Golden Robot Records and have released the appropriately titled III prior to a summer/autumn 2021 return to touring.
So have the passing years dulled their Sunset Strip sensibilities? Not one bit, judging by the way the full throttle opener “Tennessee Cocaine” bursts out of the speakers, firing on all arena-filling cylinders with echoes of Too Fast For Love era Mötley Crüe being the highest compliment I can pay it. Jonny D’s insistent bass sets the tone perfectly for the sleazy, slutty “Three Way Ride” that won’t win any political correctness awards lyrically, but that is of course beside the point. It’s catchy with the whole band completely on sleaze mode fire and fully complimenting Eric Jayk’s sneeringly fine vocal performance, all of which continues through into the slightly funky, fun chant-along “Set It Off.”
It wouldn’t be a Sunset Strip era glam album without a ballad would it? In “Still Love You”, the band produce one of the best I’ve heard in a long time. Of course, it’s cheese sliced thickly, but the superb guitar of Jimmy Melrose coupled with Jayk’s passionate performance, raise its level more than a few notches to the very best standards set by Poison and Warrant, among others, in the original hair metal heyday. The slightly gothic atmosphere of “Midnight Children” follows and jars a little at the beginning before recovering its composure and delivering another familiar sounding rocker with huge chorus thankfully intact.
Current single “Born To Be” reminded me of Dangerous Toys though for the life of me I can’t think why. Not that it is meant detrimentally. In fact, quite the opposite as this rocks with a slightly harder edge that adds the required kick ass component to the “Welcome to the revolution” lyrics, and another perfect vocal from Jayk. The driving drums of Lock Driver propel the anthemic “Raise Hell” in what would have been the perfect leave-you-wanting-more, rousing, fist waving album closer, but instead there is the seven minute sprawling epic “Mother” that, despite perfect performances from every member of the band, left me cold and with the feeling that it should be on a different album or at the very least, not the closing track on this one.
With the exception of the last track, every song has an instantly familiar feel to it with an unerring sense of pure joy throughout — although it does suffer ever so slightly from being too long for an EP and too short for a full album. I could have done with at least a couple more tracks of the hook laden, bouncy, swaggering pleasure that make up 99% of this release, but that is a very minor quibble on what is — on the whole — a crisply produced, triumphant return.
01. Tennessee Cocaine
02. Three Way Ride
03. Set It Off
04. Still Love You
05. Midnight Children
06. Born To Be
07. Raise Hell
Eric Jayk – vocals
Jimmy Marlowe – guitar
Don Marles – guitar
Jonny D – bass
Lock Driver – drums
Produced by Kyle Paas
Mixed by Jon Kaplan
Mastered by Howie Weinberg
Reviewed by Rockney Colin for Sleaze Roxx, June 2021
Wildstreet‘s “Tennessee Cocaine” video:
Wildstreet‘s “Three Way Ride” video:
Wildstreet‘s “Still Love You” video: