Wild Gift is the second studio album by American rock band X, released on May 4, 1981 by Slash Records. It was very well received critically, and was voted the year's second best album in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop poll. Wild Gift was later ranked at number 334 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Wild Gift showcases the band's unique punk rock style, which infuses roots rock, country, blues, R&B, and rockabilly. In 1988, Slash issued Los Angeles and Wild Gift jointly on a single compact disc. Wild Gift was remastered and reissued in 2001 by Rhino Records, with seven bonus tracks. The track "White Girl" was sampled by the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their 1989 album Mother's Milk, in the song "Good Time Boys". The Chili Peppers song's lyrics mentioned X's John Doe specifically, "whose voice is made of gold".Wikipedia
Had never heard this before - awesome - right up there on the list with the Clash, the Femmes, and other angry punk/post-punk bands of the era.
Wow. Impressed. Heard of X, I think, but never listened before. It’s catchy, pared down, good variety, not too one note. I hear ramones, pixies, misfits, Jefferson airplane, sonic youth, iggy and the stooges, that says it all. Saved the album to my library.
Maybe it’s the pop-punk loving side of me, but I really enjoyed this album, especially the first and last tracks sung by the female vocalist. I liked the blend of 50s rock with the driving pace of punk. This is the more palatable version of what The Cramps were trying to achieve. I waffled between 3 and 4 stars and ended at 4 because I want to look up more music by X.
I loved this. It was my first time hearing of this band. What a find!
I prefer Los Angeles, but this a great album too.
What's not to love about X?
well, this is another one that was over too soon. i knew about X, of course, being a punkity-rock kid back in the day - but they were a little before my time, and i didn't really come to them until later. i love the aggressive attack on the guitar, the almost brutal uncaring in exene's voice...just great punk rock.
I really enjoyed this album - it feels like a perfect segue between rock from the previous two decades and the two to come. You can hear rockabilly sounds like Elvis (who they likely were inspired by) and post-punk / alternative sounds like Sonic Youth too (who they likely inspired) plus some of their contemporaries like the Sex Pistols. Lots of different sounds really; this is not one-dimensional punk. Highlights were the Once over Twice (more brooding Ramones), We're Desperate (like frenetic Talking Heads), Adult Books (my favorite - Elvis meets the Velvet Underground meets Marty Robbins), Universal Corner (can't put my finger on it, but feels ahead of it's time), It's Who You Know (Motorhead with more depth), White Girl (Sonic Youth meets the Velvet Underground), and Beyond and Back (Dead Kennedys meet Elvis Costello).
If the Ramones hopped into a Cadillac, put Johnny B Goode on the 8 track, and drove straight into the B-52's love shack, it might sound like this. Thanks, X, for pushing punk in new directions. The rockabilly stuff is not my cuppa tea, but the rest was solid. I have a feeling their lyrics deserve more attention. Perfect soundtrack to Tony Hawk Pro Skater II. B+
alright but a bit boring. Superb bass playing though, and bonus points for being short and sharp
It's not even Punk as it's far too clean around the edges and perhaps 5-6 years too late. There are bands that did this far better in New York, London and Manchester so I fail to see what makes this so special. It's not horrible to listen to, just bland and uninspiring.
favorite songs: The Once Over Twice, Universal Corner, In This House That I Call Home, When Our Love Passed Out on the Couch. a really good album, only a couple songs that I thought were meh
Solid punk album. Good sound, songs are happily 3 minutes. Songs are happily 75 seconds. Good melodies, fun listen.
This album is tight. It's full of ramshackle, energetic rockers from one of the most unique bands in music. X's punk bona fides are on full display, sweetened with a rockabilly undertone and a hint of a twang, which would become more pronounced on future albums. Billy Zoom's guitars burn brilliantly. D.J. Bonebrake's drums set an urgent pace that propels everything forward without distracting from the true stars of this show, John and Exene. The chaotic harmonies of John Doe and Exene Cervenka are imperfectly perfect. They're languid and messy and totally endearing. Their lyrics are incredibly poetic, blurring the gritty with the romantic. They sing about the dysfunctional side of life and of love, and you can feel it. Fave Songs: The Once Over Twice, Adult Books, In This House That I Call Home, I'm Coming Over
1981! Really? Wow. Straight into the favourite albums list.
Pleasantly surprised to see this here. Very underrated.
white girl and tals
I'd never heard of this band before... I wish I had! I loved this. Short and catchy which satisfies that craving I have. Will be exploring the rest of their discography based on this.
Best American rock band from the first half of the 80s when they made five 5* albums. Probably their LA album is even a bit better but it is always a hard choice. Wild Gift contains songs like Adult Books and Universal Corner etc.
Punk, but the band has skill.
This is amazing! Had never heard it before, but instant fan. It's so believable, it's so straight ahead in some ways but with a punk soul and elements of many other genres. Sounds so fresh and original.
Bounces between Ramones style bouncy punk to leaning slightly more hardcore. I'd say it's a proto-pop-punk record. Lot of fun, and the dual vocalists definitely help break it up here and there. Favorite tracks: "Universal Corner", "Back 2 the Base"
I'm digging this record. Good punk, lots of fun to listen to
rock out brooklyn basement style!
What a great album. One of my favorites so far. Brings back great memories
Pretty, pretty good
Certainly not everyone's cup of tea but fantastic classic punk in my opinion.
Opgewekte muziek. Misschien wat eentonig, maar omdat het zo tof is, kunnen we dat door de vingers zien.
Some great punk rock.
love this like probably not enough to listen to it again but maybe who knows when i'm feeling Punky
nice 80s punk
Exhibit A on why not to look at the Wikipedia page before listening to the album. Apparently the female lead, Exene Cervenka, has gotten into conspiracy theories in recent years, including mass shooting hoaxes. But once I listened, I was pleasantly surprised and mostly didn't think about what I had learned about them. I had also read that their brand of early-80s punk was tinged with rockabilly, and I could definitely hear that in the songs. Sonically I thought they were pretty great - I liked the sped-up rockabilly/surf rock style, and usually enjoyed the paired lead vocals. I wasn't as big a fan of the lyrics, though.
Classic punk. I loved the way there were male and female vocals on most tracks. Really well done and catchy.
Tan punk californiano. Amo. Flema tiene un tema que se llama 'Surfeando En El Riachuelo' que es todo lo que está bien y me hizo acordar, musicalmente, al primer tema del disco. Me remontó a eso automáticamente cosa que amo profundamente. 13 temones muy fáciles de escuchar y, por sobre todo, muy geniales. The Once Over Twice y Year 1 son los temas que más me gustaron. Lo escucharía mil veces más. 9/10 ludomatics.
hell yeah punk rock cool influences as well
yep it’s a punk album
Love it. Reminds me of Minutemen. Need to get it on vinyl.
Promisingly rapid start! Punky with a 50's rock and roll feel, makes me think of the Rezillos a bit. Four tracks in, I really like this and feel I missed out not knowing this album before! In short, this is really bloody good. I still love The Rezillos more for this fun, 50s inflected punk (I'm naturally going to identify more with Scottish sci fi geeks than a cool LA band), but this is definitely going back on at some point.
A great rock record
Very West Coast punk album, another new band from this list that I've never heard before so had no idea what to expect. I liked it, great energy, wailing guitars, has a rockabilly vibe. Would listen to this again. Short, punchy, and I like that the vocalists switch it up, each leading their own songs and some with both harmonizing. Fun album.
Some heavy Pixies, Talking Heads and B-52's vibes from 1981. Post-punk new wave soundtrack to a student house party in a movie, any movie.
Pretty good punk
Some real good older Riot Girl punk music. Reminds me of Blondie. Never heard of X before but I really like this.
Was a bit slow to start but once it got going it was a really fun listen. Still sounds fresh. The cover of the album had me expecting something more contemporary so it was a real surprise.
Now, I adore 70s punk and post-punk. I consider them together to be the greatest genre of music. However, I'd never sought to listen to X before, for no reason other than I've always been more compelled towards UK acts of the period. I decided to set the evening aside to listen to both this and their earlier Los Angeles, and I found a rather pleasant straddling of punk and new wave, with Wild Gift the more embraceable. I'd have to say it lacks the knockout blow of a 5-starrer, but it's plenty rocking and sardonic, and there are worse ways of spending an evening.
The wildest gift I ever received was for my 13th birthday. My siblings had all clubbed together to get me the severed penis of our old scout master. I loved it. I would play with it all the time. Every night before bed I would kiss it goodnight and then fuck the shit out of myself until my anus resembled a bloody casserole.
I just don't know if I knew far less about music than I thought, or this 'challenge' goes out of it's way to pick more obscure bands. But these guys shouldn't be - early 80's raw punk tinged rock - so why aren't 'X' as big as they should be?
Thoroughly enjoyable. The female vocal is better than the male
Punk rock. Energetic. Fast paced and fun. Would listen to again (and check out more by this band).
short, concise punk record. Not bad at all
I knew nothing of X before this came up, and what a pleasant surprise. Lively, brash punk - will be returning for more listens
It was way better than I expected it to be, by far. I actually liked a lot of it.
Really cool pop-punk album. I’d heard Los Angeles before and though it was ok, but honestly I think this one’s better. Also still can’t believe they’re produced by Ray Manzarak
I generally like X, haven’t gone back before More Fun in the New World in years. I enjoyed this. It makes me want to go back to listen to Los Angeles.
Real good punk / new wave feel to it. The male vocalist has a bit of a David Byrne vibe in his voice (not a bad thing, mind you). Universal Corner feels a bit lke "Shape Of Things To Come." Its nice to finally hear the whole song RHCP sampled for their song "Good Tine Boys." Now there's one song off the samples I don't know as of yet. Anyway, back to X. Even with it being punk, there's still a bit of variation, which is good. Nice short punk album, I really dug it.
Punk with roots rock undertones
Wow - this is great early punk. Tuneful, solid 2 attack vocals, decent melody, great instrumentation.
This short and sweet little album with a really fun surf rock kinda punky sound is just what I wanted to hear on this summer morning. The male/female playful vocals remind me of the B52's in a lot of ways. I dig it!
Fun, playful punk. I hear a lot of The Clash and some B-52’s in their sound. But there’s also some country rock in here too. The male singer adds an interesting tone to some of these songs. I got a kick out of the Roy Orbison affectation he puts on for “Adults Books.” And “In This House That I Call Home” has a little of that Orbison drama but mixed with punk riffs. The lyrics are sharp and funny too (“Back 2 the Base” is a wild one!) which makes the songs worth paying closer attention to. I’m definitely going to want to spin this one a few more times.
Need to give this a better listen, but liked what I heard.
I was aware of a small number of songs by X, so I definitely wasn't going in blind here. I knew what to expect, and loved what I got. I always meant to go back through some of their catalogue, as most of what I was familiar with was from the Los Angeles album. Very much enjoyed this one.
My original notes got erased, but my synopsis is this band fkn rocks. I'll be listening to more of X.
I'm inclined to categorize this as Ramones-style punk. Less raw, more polished than, say, the Sex Pistols, and their has the late '50s-early '60s rock vibe that the Ramones' often has. Depending on the song, the lead vocals might be handled by Exene (whose banshee-like wailing is unmistakable) or John Doe (or even both), and they make for a good combo, giving their music more versatility than the average band. But the standout aspect of their music is Billy Zoom's quick, clean, and precise guitar playing. Personally, I'd have liked to hear him get a little more time in the spotlight, but the results are pure rock n roll whether he gets it or not. Standout tracks include "Universal Corner," "Some Other Time," and "Beyond and Back" (which has a pleasing rockabilly flavor to it), but the entire album's solid. I could happily listen to the entire album without skipping a track. I wouldn't go so far as to give it 5 stars, but 4.5 feels right.
Well done punk from early Nee Wave era.
This album sounds like it’s years ahead of its time
I **almost** didn’t listen to Wild Gift before voting and reviewing because I already know i love X and this album. BUT- i actually took the time to listen to it a couple of times through before writing this. This week is shite at work and today i came home, cranked this album and lay on the floor letting the unpolished guitars and raw vocals melt that crap away. Perfect 80’s American punk album- a touch of rockabilly, just enough scream and right amount of thrash, be still my beating heart. Not my fave X album- regardless stellar showing.
Nice raw sound
I don't know much about punk, but I enjoyed this album
This was easily the nicest surprise for me so far. Had no knowledge of this band and was blown away since the start. I have to say I very much preffer the lady vocals.
A previously unheard and undiscovered punk rock delight! I can hear their influence on so many of my favourite acts. A gift indeed.
Good riffs, good vocals, good punk: very interesting album.
The name of the band it's interesting and this album is interesting too. The punk style in this album is great and even if the voices weren't that great, it's part of the punk, no need to beautify the music when you only need to express something. Even if the album is so good, it needs something to be perfect
Punk envolvente que garante um tempo de animação.
Punk-rock. Está bien. Un 4.
Super fun slice of punk 'n roll
fajnie było usłyszeć kobietę
Buen disco de punk-rock no muy cañero de cuando se empezó a popularizar el punk un poco más comercial. Buenas melodías y divertido de escuchar
Not heard of this band at all before, really enjoyed this
Leuke punk, prima!
Punk-rock. Está bien. Un 4.
Billy Zoom is a cool name, and he plays some cool guitar. A very successful fusion of rockabilly and New Wave, resulting in very listenable greaser punk. Highlight: 'Universal Corner'
Ideal album for me, thanks.
classic post-modern album
never listened to this before. Love some good punk. Very nice album
J'ai bien aimé le style. C'est a petite dose et c'est très rafraichissant comme punk rock. Une belle découverte. 4.5
Something about femme Punk vocalists really just hits harder for me. Great record.
"What about a vocalist?" "You've already had one." "Well, we've had one, yes. But what about the second vocalist?"
Did not know anything about X going in, so I wasn't expecting a female voice to come out, nor was I expecting to enjoy the album this much. Now I'm a fan.