I am a Britpop kid. One of my favorite bands is Radiohead, and I read the NME religiously. No doubt I like the melodic guitars and the soft vocal wailing and the piano and all that jazz - sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively.
Yet, every so often there is a band that comes my way that challenges me to think outside my box and surprises me by hooking my ears into infectious tunes. Trainwreck Riders is one of the those bands. They are both obnoxious and rhythmic, abrasive and slow, but never letting an ounce of skill and talent spill out unnecessarily. On their full length LP Lonely Road Revival (Alive Records), the guys in Trainwreck crank up the dual guitars for a country twang inspired folk anthem and succeed at making you tap your toes as well.
"Wine Stains" offers a simple but powerful guitar hook, an anthem well suited for Saturday afternoons and chilling with a beer in one hand, while "Find Your Way Home" is a raucous song needed to be fully experienced at high volume levels for maximum appreciation.
Trainwreck can also compose the background music for a stroll through your local park, such as "Christmas Time Blues," which pulls some harmonica and acoustic guitar action. My favorite track, "In & Out Of Love," delivers a softer sound to the listener, with singers Peter Frauenfelder and Andrew Kerwin harmonizing together about the concept and pitfalls of relationships and girls.
The band was born out of playing atypical venue spaces in San Francisco - art galleries, cafes, garages, rooftops. This helped shape the direction they decided to go in for Lonely Road Revival - diverse, funky, country, and all heart.
So maybe I will still favor the Britpop and the indie, but I appreciate what the Trainwreck Riders are trying to do, and succeeding at it.
By Jenn Hernandez