Southern California natives Stephen Ramos and Nick Sturz, better known as the pop-punk duo, Wilder. are gearing up to release their debut EP, BAD BAD LUCK, which is scheduled for release on August 27th via Rude Records. A collection of supposed high-energy indie-punk songs reflects the duo’s experience in the church as young adults and their take on a fresh start.
In a statement, Wilder. describes their new release as an “accurate reflection of who we are today, and an ode to our journey up until now. From establishing our presence as artists over the past 10 years to the pains of letting our old band go and outgrowing certain relationships, and leaving organized religion; This EP tells the story of it all. The page has finally turned, and it’s time to get wild!”
But are the songs housed within BAD BAD LUCK even worth listeners’ valuable time? Or are the pages of this aspiring duo forever lost in the dark corners of time? Let’s find out.
Well, fuck! Instantly, having the constant flow of “oh you don’t know/I betcha don’t know oh” stuck in my head over and over again is clearly a good sign of what listeners are getting themselves into the moment they click on BAD BAD LUCK’s opening song. A song perfect for live shows, heart-pumping workouts, and the perfect shield for Southern California’s hot summer nights driving with the windows down yelling, “I see a little bit clearer now.”
“See Through” is an indie-punk fan’s wet dream come to life. Instrumentally, “See Through” spits straight fire for the entire two-minute and a half runtime. Complex yet simple, Wilder. proves just who they are and why they’re finally ready to embrace more of the “wild” side of life. This is one I can’t wait to hear in the vicinity of a sold-out crowd. Gold will always be gold, and “See Through” is gold.
Not a bad song by any means, just not my favorite. Especially when coming off the high that “See Through” left me in. “bitemytongue” is an intimate track filled with high energy tendencies that help the narrative be told throughout BAD BAD LUCK flow more precisely. An in-your-face breakdown between realities, “bitemytongue,” showcases one’s inner struggle with ease while coming out the other side better, clearer, and ready to be who you know you can be.
A highly relatable indie-rock tune that is sure to have listeners screaming each note in the darkness of their own minds. “Oh, I feel it now/I feel it now,” a sentiment many will relate to as they scroll through the history banks of their memory and the feelings of helplessness while also trying to better their lives in the process.
Like I stated, not my favorite track off of BAD BAD LUCK, but it’s certainly far from a bad song. I’ll definitely be re-visiting this one from time to time.
Bad Bad Luck:
Wilder. takes things down a notch while not skimping out on their high-energy personalities. “Bad Bad Luck” is for sure a grower, and if it weren’t for the track’s infectious chorus, it would quite possibly be what tanked this EP for me. Especially, since as I always say, I’m a bit harder on title tracks. Luckily for Wilder. “Bad Bad Luck” keeps the flow of the EP going at a consistent pace that it’s actually a breath of fresh air from the high-stakes nature of the previous two tracks.
For a good few hours, I had “I kinda wanna see you test out my bad bad luck” stuck in my head with the tendency to want to sing it aloud obnoxiously everywhere I went. Instrumentally, “Bad Bad Luck” will get listeners’ hearts pumping as they dance across their living room floors, singing along. I can see this one becoming a fan favorite during live shows. But, I don’t see myself returning to this one as much as the previous tracks.
This one is a little bit crazy and just a smidge manic. A good freaking time that matches the high intensity of “See Through” while also being a good groove-style sound piece like “Bad Bad Luck.” “Oh No” turns things back up to eleven as Wilder. shows off their faster and harder personalities singing, “say it loud/I can’t get out,” while facing a wall of sound as the backdrop creating a perfect storm of indie fusion and pop-punk mastery. I quickly fell in love with this track which I had replaying even before it could end multiple times.
I found myself rocking out with my air guitar quite a few times during this one, which isn’t something I can say I do for a lot of songs. “Oh No” is a fantastic banger and a track I can see many loving for various reasons, from its raw nature to the screeching instrumentals that will instantly captivate—a genre-bending masterpiece from a duo that certainly has bright futures.
Finally, a contender to de-throne “See Through?” “Hang Up” brings listeners back to the start in a wonderful roundabout fashion. Re-capturing what I loved about “See Through” while also bookending an otherwise great EP, “Hang Up” wraps up the duo’s five-track narrative perfectly with a shiny bow to top it all off. A bit slower than other tracks featured on BAD BAD LUCK, “Hang Up” brings to the table what others failed in some form to convey; real emotional attachment. “Hang Up” feels like a raw escape that had me not wanting the duo’s debut EP to end. I needed more. But, just like life, good things must come to an end at some point.
“Hang Up” is slow on the surface while being as deep as the sea under the hood. It’s a fantastic mesh of sound that further showcases that both Stephen Ramos and Nick Sturz have a wonderful future just over the horizon. I can’t wait to hear what they have in store next.
Wilder. completely hit it out of the park with their debut EP, BAD BAD LUCK, and I simply can’t wait to experience one of their live shows in the future and to hear what they have coming next after such a home run of a release.
One thing is for sure, this duo from Long Beach will soon be hitting their own waves once fans get a hold of this release, and they’ve proven that they are writing a whole new story for themselves, creating new bridges where the old ones lay.
Once again, Wilder. will release their debut EP, BAD BAD LUCK, on August 27th via Rude Records. If you’d like to pre-save the EP now, you can use this link to do just that, and if you want to learn more about this Southern California duo, head on over to their official website, which will have links you can use to interact with them via their social accounts.