Ever since rock ‘n’ roll hit the mainstream radio, there’s been an air of chaos surrounding it—chaos that shakes up the pop world. It’s dark and thoughtful, yet loud and outspoken, and that mindset has been keeping it alive all these years. This same mindset is what makes The Wild Beyond’s self-titled debut EP a diamond in a sea of coal.

The Wild Beyond is introduced with a catchy guitar riff that’ll have you tapping your toes and a drum beat that’ll make you wrack your brain trying to keep in time. This is “Fire’s Body,” and like an actual flame, it shifts between the forest fire-like violence of the chorus and the dancing candlelight sounds of the verse and guitar solo. “Reflex Driver,” the album’s single, sees a huge amount of dissonance between the vocals, guitars, and synth textures, and musically, it shouldn’t work, but The Wild Beyond make it work.

The closing track—ironically or purposefully titled “Opening”—is interesting, to say the least. It perfectly exemplifies the chaos that is rock ‘n’ roll, all while straying as far away from the genre as possible. It starts out with Tibetan throat singing and a woman singing Arabic modal scales. Soon after, the lead guitar and drums come in, following their own rhythms. At about eight minutes in, the song descends into pure chaos, with several layers of vocals, guitars, synths, etc. Toward the end of the song, the band comes back in sync and fades out together, while the vocal and synth textures continue until a final fade out.

The Wild Beyond may be a newer band, but with this debut EP, they’ve made a sound for themselves and show a willingness to explore the pandemonium that is rock music.

In A Hyphenated Word: Helter-Skelter

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