The Wild Kindness: Faulty (Orchard/digital outlets)

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The Wild Kindness: Faulty (Orchard/digital outlets)

During the first Covid closure in New Zealand we here at Elsewhere were bombarded by bands and artists who had recorded their lockdown single, EP or album and were anxious to get attention for it.

That it coincided with New Zealand Music Month simply meant that literally more than a score of music releases would arrive ever week, some recorded beforehand and others just banged off in a day or two.

Inevitably scores of worthwhile albums went past us – artists angling for coverage of their single had clearly not looked at Elsewhere, we don't do singles or videos, never have.

Even now we are still stumbling on things we wished we had heard at the time and leaped in to bring to attention.

Like San Francisco's Wild Kindness who'd we reviewed previously noting that their singer-guitarist Mike Alexis acknowledged Sneaky Feelings and Flying Nun as an influence.

And when he sent an e-mail back in July about this new album he wryly noted the coincidence of the Sneakies having a new album out at the same time as this, their second album.

The good news is that not to much has changed in their enjoyably melodic but often punchy indie-pop-rock or their pop-smart economy (nine songs, 30 minutes).

There's just a smidgen of a languid country-rock influence here (On Purpose) alongside the more gritty material (I Made a List, I'm a Waste of Time) and the downbeat Spiking the Camera.

As before, The Wild Kindness deliver a fairly straight-ahead, grounded and frequently energetic collection of sometimes pulled-back power pop (Light Sleeper) with its soul in the best of indie.rock on the Seventies and Eighties (You're The Only One), and also know when to drop in a focused guitar ballad.

One we missed in tsunami of releases, but – although the boundaries of indie.rock and power remain unshaken and some might find this uneventful -- it is never too late to catch up with these short, elevating songs.

And yes, they've got something here entitled Those Sneaky Feelings.

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You can hear this album on Spotify here



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