June 12, 2004

THE WRENS are your friends... listen to them.

This is a band that has had it hard.

This is possibly the underdog band... that made it critically, but not commercially (another one?)... so far.

But do we need another commercial success?


Do we need The Wrens?


But if you formed a band in the late 80's and got a chance to open for New Wave comeback band The Fixx, wouldn't you jump at it? The catch... you must sell 1000 tickets, the final tally... six.

If you got a gig as the house band on a ferry wouldn't you play 'Debaser' to the mostly senior crowd?


Would you get the boot?


And if you signed to tiny label Grass Records and reaped critical riches, would an insane, future grudge bearing millionaire and (and this is the important bit) Chinese food afficionado, buy your label to acquire you?


And after releasing, under this new owner, your second full length to rave critical press, you are asked during your tour, to re-sign to a big bucks contract. You hesitate and are warned that all promo for the CD and tour support will be yanked if you don't sign. Do you say no and call his bluff?


Do you suffer the yank?


You then release an EP and again reap the praise of critics, hence suffering the attention of several labels. A bidding war ensues. Interscope A&R, on hearing you, pursues you relentlessly. Does A&R get laid off in an ugly corporate merger before signing you?


Does A&R then get hired by the competition and straight off sign The Strokes?


Do you then hole up in the house you've shared with your bandmates for years, only to emerge years later with a CD which quickly seems to be a rock critics wet dream realized?


This is what The Wrens have done, so to speak, and what I (and you should) hope they will do again - if it produces the unique and layered textures that several years of recording and re-recording produced. Adding these hard won textures to the memorable melodies found in 'The Meadowlands' songs produced one of my favourite CDs of 2003.

From 'The Meadowlands'...

'Everyone Choose Sides'

'This Boy is Exhausted'

No comments:

Post a Comment