My first exposure to Wildways was their music video to “Faka Faka Yeah,” a montage of white girls twerking and Russian youths cheering on bleachers, drinking from red cups, eating arbuz (watermelon), periodically making out with one another… a good ol’ wholesome bodily function upkeep. The song itself is just straight up fun with an Attila type vibe, but the excessive imagery left you wondering, “Is this just a gimmicky band or… is this a trick? Regardless, I’m kind of impressed by this breakdown-synced twerking. Are those 16th note triplets? Let me watch that again real quick….”

Gimmick or not, I’m a sucker for breakdowns and chugs, so I gave their debut album Into The Wild a spin, and I quickly realized that I was going play this album to death. First track “Skins” is crafted with an acoustic guitar, piano intro using tonal qualities that are uniquely Czar-era Russian folk (I’m a little rusty with my Russian music history, so that may or may not be 100% accurate), but regardless, it conjures images of Fabergé eggs and balalaikas (a three stringed, Russian folk instrument). The jam quickly morphs into slickly-produced modern rock/metalcore, weaving the intro themes throughout the entirety of the song. Another uniquely Wildways approach to songwriting is the vocal performance that’s percussive like rap, yet pitched, interchanging between yells, screams and super-hooky clean vocals. These Ruskis def. know what the eff is up!

“Don’t Give Up Your Guns” is a great example of how Wildways has managed to seamlessly incorporate modern pop production elements into their otherwise hardcore/metalcore riffing. Along with the riffs, these duders manage to segue into all out hip-hop breakdowns where lead singer Toli just mouths off in Russian for a while, and… it works, somehow. It makes you want to high-five whoever is nearest to you and rage, regardless of whether or not you’re jamming out in a grocery store and have no otherwise irrational tendencies. Touché, Artery.

Track Listing:

01. Skins
02. 3 Seconds To Go
03. Faka Faka Yeah
04. Sirens
05. What You Feel
06. Slow Motion
07. D.O.I.T.
08. Princess
09. Don’t Give Up Your Guns
10. Illusions & Mirrors
11. Wings
12. Not Alone

Run Time: 45:25
Release Date: March 25, 2016

Check out the video for “Faka Faka Yeah” here.