The Wrens come to us from The Meadowlands

    Some bands have all the luck and some just don’t. The Wrens fall into the latter category, having largely dropped from the music scene over the last seven years due to label problems. But the Wrens are the kind of band music snobs fawn over, just obscure enough to maintain indie cred but still plenty accessible. Luckily, the band’s woes have been ironed out and it can now present itself to a new generation of listeners. San Diego gets a taste when it plays with John Vanderslice at the Casbah on Feb. 24.

    Courtesy of http://www.allmusic.com

    The band’s sound has developed over the years since the band’s formation in the late 1980s. From its dreamy debut, Silver, to its breakthrough indie-rock hit, Secaucus, to the more mature pop leanings of the band’s latest, The Meadowlands, the Wrens have maintained a love for pop melodicism with both texture and bite. Seemingly conventional song structures are given fractured twists, making the songs both memorable and compellingly unique.

    On The Meadowlands, the songs build to stunning climaxes, such as the beautiful four-chord ballad “Happy,” which gets progressively louder and more emotional then suddenly becomes a completely different song near the end. “This Boy is Exhausted” recalls ’80s college rock a la R.E.M., and “Per Second Second” is tight and punchy like modern garage-rock heroes the Strokes.

    Only occasionally do the vocals become too harsh to listen to, and it’s due to their overtly emotional nature — something much more preferable to the forced angst or blasé cool of most modern rock. The band nails each direction it tries, giving new life to old genres and fitting in with its new contemporaries. This consistency draws new fans and keeps the old ones around, despite the band’s huge gestation period.

    This time around, hopefully the band’s luck will improve and it’ll be able to stick around. When the music’s this good, it’s worth the wait.

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