In its place is naked pop lyricism about bars and cars and last calls and long nights that only furthers their goal of becoming the pop-punk Bruce Springsteens. Some things stay the same: drummer David Prowse is still there, wailing on the tubs and whoa-ohing on the mics, and North American highways still set the scene for King’s search for meaning. But musically, they broaden way out: around their usual power chord barrage is everything from country jangle to synth-rock. If Celebration Rock mirrored the optimism of its time, Wild Heart mirrors the mood of its era too: more sombrr, searching, and finding hope in small victories.
Near To The Wild Heart Of Life is out now via Inertia.