CD jackets are like book covers: You shouldn't judge them by what's on the outside. So, of course, we'll break the rules because that's exactly what I did and found the band Headlights. I spotted the pastel pictures on the cover: a grass and fauna backdrop with a simple, white cursive "Wildlife" scrawled across the green grass near a river. Within the multi-fold case were sketches of animals----an aardvark, a bear, a tiger--each on small white pieces of paper.
And it's while listening to each of Headlights' songs--whether it be "Telephones" (a look at the death of friends), the upbeat "Get Going" (the first single of the album) or the subdued piano-synth combo of "Love Song for Buddy"--that we learn that Wildlife is all about oddities, like that of all varieties of fauna, and the music personifies this.
Sometimes the songs are more sloth-like creatures, managing only to underwhelm. There's no song that stands out more than the others, but snippets of breathy, faraway vocals are unforgettable. Each of the songs on the album feels like it could be dropped effectively into an indie film, perhaps to serve as punctuation for a scene of emotional turmoil.
It's a shame that they're so not wild in their approach because I want to like them. It's finding their sound that will strengthen what is already a talented group.
The band makes headway in their experiments, but the plumage of the multi-headed beast could use a trim.