Monday, May 18, 2009
Sometime in 2007 (when I reviewed Lonely Road Revival actually), I was convinced that of all the twang filled bands starting to crop up, Trainwreck Riders was going to be one of the ones that bubbled to the top of the pile. Their unpredictable and sloppy (meant as the biggest compliment possible) take on things was pretty stellar and showed they weren't just trying to ride the coattails of the great bands that came before them.
Not surprisingly, the masses didn't flock to drink the hill’s kool-aid, but considering I thought deck shoes and the Danny Pintaro haircut was still cool in Grade 10 and I bought College Boyz and the cassingle from Paperboy, it’s not shocking that my musical premonition didn’t come true either.
Well, now it's 2009 and their label - the superfantastical Alive Records - hits with such consistency that any press release they sent out gets noticed by a much bigger audience. This is great for the band because only a week or so after the new record, Perch, hit the streets, they are popping up on blog after blog, and deservedly so. The thing is, a lot of these quick hitting posts are fixated on the weary, country anthem Chug Along instead of the other sounds on the record. Sure the song is terrific - Pete's vocals seep out as if he's on his last breath, but he just won't give in and turns the down and out number into an oddly optimistic, inspired track - but it's the other songs on Perch that grabbed my ear.
They've already proved they can deliver hit tender ballads and country rocking barn burners, so slow movers like the fiddle laced Everything and Livin' Daylight - complete with eerie backing textures - or rockers like I Saw Your Eyes and Upon The Losing End should be no surprise to any fan, but at times on this release they fit more into a straight up alternative vibe. They've cast aside a lot of the more traditional sounds and in their place is a crisper, more (excuse the horrible word choice here) urban feel.
Rumble at the Revolution Cafe cranks up the heat and the guitars and heavy drums could have been found on an old Hi-Fives record as easily as as you could have heard Safety of a Back and Weight of the Day seem more inspired by college rock back in the day than any sort of alt-country outfit. Basically, somehow the Trainwreck Riders have gotten better at the shit they were already good at, but also added some styles and sounds that will help them settle into bigger audiences.
MP3:: Trainwreck Riders - Chug Along
MP3:: Trainwreck Riders - Safety of a Back