Wyatt Olney (guitar/vocals), Kyle Gibboney (guitar/vocals), Willie Nelson (bass/vocals) and Rob Brennan (drums) are a rock band called Wyatt Olney & The Wreckage from Seattle that just released their debut album entitled Dark Futures. Dark Futures is a polished, no frills hard rock album that seems to have a lot of its influence from ‘80s and ‘90s bands.
Their music feels far away from a lot of contemporary indie rock bands and certainly doesn’t feel associated with what some would call art rock. The songs are anthemic and straightforward relying on predictable song structure. Verse, chorus, verse followed by a blaring guitar solo type of thing.
The band opens with a short song entitled “Into Darkness” which feels like an intro. In all honesty I wish the band had more songs in this style littered across the album. The acoustic guitar picking is not only technically impressive but also rather beautiful. It reminded me of the fantastic Portuguese ensemble Madredeus. I really hope they explore more of this side to their musicality in the future.
After “Into Darkness” the band launches into “Dark Futures” which is much more indicative of what you can expect for the remainder of the album. This song is anthemic and contains a couple of ‘80s rock tropes such as shouting a count off before rocking out. All things considered the song is predictable but fun and catchy.
“The Underground” is a distinct hard rock ‘80s vibe song. Between the inflection in the vocalist’s voice and the guitar solo I got in the mood to listen to Guns N Roses. “Save Me” contains delayed lead guitar and some serious rocking out while “Daybreak” is what you might consider a ballad. As the album progressed there isn't much deviation from the style they present on the aforementioned songs. I felt “Outrun The Reaper” and the closer “Die Young” were highlights.
Wyatt Olney & The Wreckage isn’t the most original sounding band in 2016. In fact they have done their homework on standard pop/rock structure. They make music that is easy to enjoy and doesn’t test many boundaries. The good news is they clearly established a sound and aesthetic on their debut. You really shouldn't have to spend much time with this album to realize if it’s your cup of tea. Give it a listen and go from there.
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