Wild Ride has a new album out now. It’s titled Good Things. But first, for those of you not yet familiar with the act in question, a bit o’ background.
Wild Ride is an international rock ‘n’ roll act based in Los Angeles, California. According to their official website, it includes Polish-born singer-songwriter and guitarist, Marek Lisiak, and half-Maori singer-songwriter and drummer, Kerri (Berry) Lisiak. (They also occasionally employ a third musician for live gigs.)
Marek, once a member of the EMI-signed French rock band Tipsy Wit. Their sole release is titled Songs and Dreams. The band also opened for Iron Maiden.
After relocating to L.A. to start fresh, Marek joined a cover band. Marek met Kerri and asked her to be his songwriting partner and lyricist. Kerri, a native New Zealander raised amidst Maori culture, had previously come to L.A. after discovering a sincere interest in a career in music.
When the regular drummer left one night in 2010, Kerri was asked to sit in with the band. The show was a success. Marek bought her a drum-kit of her own and Wild Ride was born.
The performing pair’s rockin’ resume includes a number of independently produced singles and albums. Marek was included in an ensemble of artists who set a Guinness World Book Record for “the largest guitar ensemble” at the popular Thanks Jimi Festival in Wroclaw, Poland. The act also headlined at the Zlotoryja Days Festival. Finally, their resume also includes recent and upcoming opening gigs for Adler’s Appetite, Albert Lee, Mark Farner, LA Guns, Bulletboys, Y&T, and Buckcherry.
Wild Ride’s signature sound is a musical mix of multiple rock music sub-genres. Marek lists his early sources of inspiration as AC/DC, Kiss, UFO, Iron Maiden, and Jimi Hendrix. Kerri was initially influenced by Bob Marley, Prince, UB40, and after being exposed to the live music scene in London, other acts such as Boy George, Eddie Grant, Maxi Priest, and Diana Ross.
She also adds acts such as The Beatles, Abba, the Rolling Stones, Blondie, The Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Police, “and reggae music in general.” Finally, she also likes Motörhead’s drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, Richie Ramone, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real and Steve Adler too.
Good Things is a 9-track album of original material co-composed by Marek and Kerri Lisiak. Most of the tracks here were previously released as digital singles. Marek leads the way on vocals, guitar, and bass. Kerri backs him up on drums and background vocals.
Track by Track
The album opens on the comparatively mellow “I Wanna Know Where I’m Going.” It is less hard rock and more of a personal piece that sounds as if it focuses on their relationship. The song also appeared on their earlier album Bambola Patches.
They pick things up a little bit on “Hotter Than Fire.” This is another previously released track. This also reflects on the couple’s burgeoning relationship. It features Connie Early, Paul Raskin, and Makeda Hawkins on background vocals.
The song “I’m Still Alive” is next on the list. It takes the album in a slightly different direction and yet their distinctive signature sound remains steady.
It is followed by “Red Ribbon.” This is an instrumental that serves as a welcome aural pallet cleanser. No doubt it works well with a live crowd.
Kerri plays bass here on “Hello Monsieur Mon Ami.” It’s the dynamic duo’s first French song and was reportedly inspired by Marek’s time in France and by someone known as “the ‘Superhero Reader’ Tapahia Heke.” This one provides the disc with a memorable change-up. It features background vocals by Sistar Harmony a.k.a. Julie Rado.
The title track, “Good Things”, was co-written with Ngaire Potangaroa. Unlike the other songs written solely by the Lisiaks, this one takes their themes in yet another direction.
“Everybody Wants To Be Together” follows. Also previously released as a single, “Everybody Wants To Be Together” has a musical message and was undoubtedly inspired by the pandemic and exposure to partisan politics.
The next number is “Power Machine.” This one was first digitally released on Halloween of 2019. The song has an almost insistent drive to it and includes additional background vocals by Mark Ludmer.
Not to be confused with Paul McCartney’s 1993 track from his ninth solo album Off the Ground, this particular “Peace In The Neighborhood” is an original. It’s a driving social anthem and an apt album endnote for the times. Helen Kelly and Christopher Sternal contribute background vocals.
Overall, this album is a new presentation of largely previously-released material. This is why it often sounds as if they have been playing the material for years. Hardcore fans will find the release to be welcomingly familiar and newcomers will be able to get an accurate idea of just what this tuneful twosome can do. It’s highlighted by hard rock with strong riffs, exuberant guitar solos, and memorable melodies to boot. So, check out Wild Ride’s Good Things because you just might find that it’s “Hotter Than Fire.”