Night Wild’s debut album, All That Should Have Been, follows in the footsteps of music made by bands such as Emerson Lake and Palmer on Karn Evil 9, Pink Floyd’s wilder moments and, latterly, Circu5‘s debut album. Not necessarily progressive rock in the broader sense but employing that age-old device beloved of those realms, the concept album. And like the aforementioned sonic travelling companions, it is the weight and density of the music, music that circles a sort of theatrical alt-rock hub, that sets this apart from images of the past – keyboard players dressed as wizards, lyrics about journeys into Mordor, eighteen-minute drum solos etc.
Taking the theme of a boy trapped in a cruel circus show under the despotic control of a lunatic ringmaster, this album takes the form of a 17-song rock opera, and as a feel of what’s to follow, these two songs perfectly set the tone and temperament. The Curtain is the opening, spoken-word-dominated piece, the ringmaster reminding the various players that they are expendable and never to forget that the audience is just there for him and him alone. It’s a dark and dangerous intro, indeed.
The Show skirts across deranged circus music, the deranged leader addressing the audience before salvos of deft and dexterous guitar lines are spread out before us, and the drums constantly turns up the speed and intensity, the analogy, of course, being the ringmaster working his charges to exhaustion…or worse; slaves to the only thing that matters. The Show!
As a taste of the album to come, these two singles build the required intrigue and anticipation, which is, after all, the main job of the single. So, if you like well-thought-out rock, operatic concepts, and music full of dynamics that go from soaring metal highs to acoustic lows that take in a wide array of emotions and moods and that deals with reflection and redemption, then this is for you.