Photo Credit - RED MUSIC with permission to Entercom Buffalo LLC

#DiscoverAndDownload: The Wrecks - "James Dean"

Brought to you by Black Button Distilling. Live Large in Small Batches.

July 16, 2018

No money to their names (minus what they earned from medical studies), the members of Los Angeles alternative rock band The Wrecks—Nick Anderson [vocals, guitar], Aaron Kelley [bass], Nick Schmidt [guitar, vocals], Westen Weiss [guitar, keys], and Billy Nally [drums]—received the invitation of a lifetime. As the story goes, Anderson’s friend was house-sitting for a professional music producer (who will remain unnamed to protect the not-so innocent). So, the boys had a three-day window to record in this space for free. Inspired by everything from The Pixies and The Strokes to Weezer and Vampire Weekend, they snuck in and out, cut a handful of tracks steeped in stories of wild nights and too much partying, put everything back as if nothing happened, and cleaned up all of the Dominos boxes, minus a crumb or two. On the last day, they narrowly missed the homeowner’s ex-wife (but still needed to send engineer Andrew D’Angelo back on a midnight “Black Op” to transfer the files). The recovered evidence err…contents….including the 2016 breakout single “Favorite Liar.” Not only did the track score over 9.6 million Spotify streams, but it also landed on coveted playlists such as It’s Alt Good, Digging Now, Feelgood Indie, Indie Radar, Punk Unleashed, and more as the group averaged 208K monthly listeners.  Additionally, the music video cracked 1 million cumulative views, while “Favorite Liar” soared to #5 on Sirius/XM Alt Nation (not bad for a free recording!).

Along the way, they made the jump from playing wild house parties that often ended with running from the cops to grimy clubs and finally headlining theaters between tours with the likes of Nothing But Thieves, The Hunna, Night Riots, and SWMRS. As the profile rose independently, they landed a deal with RED MUSIC, and earned acclaim courtesy of KROQ, Popdust, and more. 
Like any good story though, it deserved a proper sequel. Following this rise, they recorded their 2018 second EP, Panic Vertigo—but similar follies ensued. After a failed attempt with a producer (who was actually in the room with them this time), they holed up in Wellsville, NY, using the home of Anderson’s grandma as base camp. Grandma’s house happened to be 45 minutes from a barn where they had previously done an early demo. It’s indicative of their attitude as they have no problem ditching a high-profile producer to do things on their own terms… “It was as crazy as the first time,” laughs Anderson. “Things didn’t work out, so we decided to do it on our own again. My grandma lives in a town of 8,000 people. There’s a studio in a refurbished barn 45 minutes away. Fueled by buffalo chicken calzones, pizza rolls, and double IPAs, we recorded the EP there. We really enjoyed that process of just making it up as we went along. It worked before, and it inspired us again. It was just a bunch of friends creating art.” That process paid off once more. They preserve a reckless abandon and aren’t afraid to speak their minds or get candid about sex and drugs with a whole lot of rock ‘n’ roll energy. Maintaining the high-speed drama, unpredictable rhythms, and unshakable hooks fans fell in love with, they amplified the cleverness and catchiness all-around. It was evident from the get-go on “Way With Words,” which Spotify showcased on New Noise and Filtr’s Pop Matters.

The title track and single “Panic Vertigo” proves schizophrenically infectious as it shifts from clever verses into a guitar-driven chorus. Apple Music added it to Hot Tracks in addition to plugging the album on the home page. “That was about the first panic attack I had,” says the frontman. “I wanted to tap into that energy with the song.” Elsewhere, robust guitars swing and shake on “James Dean,” proving as Anderson says, “Guitars aren’t the enemy; bad songs are.” Another standout, “Figure This Out” paints the picture of a hook-up that just needs to end. At the beginning, he admits, “She said, ‘Are you gonna write about me?’ And I think that I just about threw up in my mouth.” “It’s about having sex with someone over and over again even though you keep trying to break it off,” he goes on. “Lust takes over, and you’re like, ‘Damn.’” 2018 sees them firing on all cylinders. They wrapped up 32 shows on the “Lost in Translation Tour” with New Politics before joining The Maine on “Fry Your Brain with The Maine Tour” and launching their biggest headliner yet. In the end, The Wrecks’ story just keeps getting better, along with the music. “We’re continuing to grow,” Anderson leaves off. “We worked really hard and put ourselves out there on this one. Not one song sounds the same. I hope everyone has a different favorite.” 



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