The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
In short, "Wildfire" by Catalano is a greatly melodic in-your-face feel good rock song, with a hint of ballad cleverly mixed in.
The song is nothing but the best tease for their highly anticipated (at least by me) follow up album to 2016's "Dark Skies", hopefully before the Summer of 2019 breaks.
Can we talk about that intro?
Hands down, the best part of this song is its intro. These guys crafted an addicting mix of vocals, picking, power chords, and drums that left me sad to hear it end.
Roxxi's clearly Def Leppard-influenced vocals -- accompanied by some simple, yet intense-reverb-flavored picking -- get you ready for the exact power chords you need to get that dopamine release.
Honestly, when I first heard the song and got to the chorus, I immediately thought the beautifully harmonized "Wildfiiiire.." was a bit too long.
I thought I'd quickly get tired of the chorus, but since the intro was rightfully so short, I'd have to keep playing the song over to hear that addicting intro again.
Doing this would inevitably lead me to the chorus, again, which, in time, I learned to love as much as it was written to be. Usually it's the chorus that hooks a listener, but for me, it happened to be that intro.
The guitar sound is less sleazy, but not less rockin'
The lead singer of Catalano, Roxxi, used to be the lead vocalist for a sadly short-lived band named De La Cruz. Casey Jones -- what a guitarist!
De La Cruz initially released 5 songs for free, then a full-length studio album, broke up, then Roxxi, the lead vocalist, created his own band, Catalano, and released their own phenomenal full-length album, Dark Skies.
The guitar sound on Dark Skies was very sleazy and L.A. Guns-like. The guitar sound on Catalano's follow up single "Wildfire seems to dial back the sleaze in turn for a more generic rock sound.
Let's be clear -- it's the sound I'm referring to, not the actual guitar work and melodies of the song's instrument.
I'm not going to give you a favorite guitar sound preference for Catalano because honestly, both guitar sounds rock me equally, so I can take either one.
It's just an observation I made and it gives us a hint of what to expect on their highly anticipated (at least by me) follow up album to Dark Skies.
The song's message
When people attempt to interpret a song and figure out its meaning, it's usually the lyrics that are used. Probably because they're the most communicative and explicit parts of a song.
I'm definitely going to give the lyrics to this song the rightful respect they deserve (I've been dreamin' in color, dreamin' 'bout the flames...), but they're not the only part of the song that paints a message.
The song itself has a general message of enduring and taking on life's hardships through a metaphorical wildfire. Nice!
From this stems both an aggressive confidence, playful acceptance, and an acknowledging sadness of that hardship, that are equally reflected in not just the lyrics, but the notes and timing of the guitar -- especially the outro.
Towards the end of the song, after the guitar solo, the chorus repeats, but after the second time, Roxxi finishes it with a nice growling, "Oooo, yeah", followed by an "uh", as if someone just intensely bumped into him.
I love this part because not only does it make me laugh a bit at that Wildfire with Roxxi, but it shows that playful acceptance of the wildfire and kind of just washing your hands with it. It is what it is, Roxxi says with "uh".
However, once the last word of the last chorus is uttered, that playful acceptance of the wildfire becomes an acknowledging sadness, as beautifully timed guitar notes in the outro suggest.
For nearly the whole song, you're kickin' ass with power chords and drums -- taking on that wildfire -- but the mood immediately changes at the end, as you're now forced to confront the sad result the wildfire has left behind.
When I listen to that outro, I see a person standing in a field with the Sun setting. As the point of view zooms out and we see only the person's back, they're watching a fire dwindle and taking in the badly burned landscape.
The song does a perfect job, vocally and melodically, of capturing the emotional responsibility of both kickin' ass when needed and taking that ass kickin'.
The Final Rating
I don't like to give out stars or numbers to show how much I like a song.
I either like it or I don't, but if you need some sort of spectrum, just know that "Wildfire" has been intentionally left on my Google Music playlist since it debuted on May 23, 2018.
That's right! I've reviewed an almost year old song, and in the music industry, that's moving toward ancient material.
Nonetheless, I can't just listen to a song only once or twice to really get a feel for how it resonates within me. A minimum of many months need to pass so I can pick up and learn all the little details within the song.
Catalano is a band comprised of many talented people. I listen to a lot of rock, from Zeppelin, to Greta Van Fleet, to Cinderella, to Slash, Myles, and the Conspirators, and a lot of what is being considered #rockaintdead is really just #rockandrecycle.
Don't get me wrong, I understand that recycling material is how music evolves.
However, Catalano does it in such a way where that discarded plastic water bottle doesn't become just a plastic fork some 8 year old uses to shove birthday cake down their throat.
It instead becomes another water bottle, because eventually I'm going to get thirsty again.
Where does Catalano go from here?
According to Catalano's Facebook page, they're currently working on their second studio album, a follow up to 2016's Dark Skies.
I'd go so far as to say Catalano is the Greta Van Fleet of Def Leppard, but since this type of rock isn't adored by pop culture at the moment, outside of your mp3 player, you'll sadly find it only in a Walmart commercial.
But I don't care what's musically popular at the time, nor do I look to Walmart to find new rock music. I instead search the depths of the internet to find unheard of rock treasures such as Catalano.
No, they're not crafting 3 chord songs and calling it a day. If you listen to their songs, beneath the catchy vocals and melodic guitar, you'll find an incredible attention to detail.
The guys of Catalano take the time to give each component of their songs a distinct and memorable touch. Never are you bored. You're always kept on your feet and given the chance to develop many appreciations.
It's very clear these guys dedicate a lot of time, emotion, and beer to make something contrasting; something that stands the test of time (on my playlist) rather than falls to the musical junkyard. They're the real deal.
The Recommended Content Widget will appear here on the published site.