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Wiretree

Make Up

(Cobaltworks Music; US: 1 Aug 2011; UK: Import)

Starts Strong, Fades Fast

Austin, Texas quartet Wiretree play a brand of guitar-centric indie rock that vacillates between compelling and overly familiar. Album opener “Make Up” falls into the first category, as twin guitars stutter and fuzz their way through a mid-tempo crunch that provides a bed for vocalist Kevin Peroni. At their best, the band keeps this satisfyingly urgent vibe going, as on “Tinyhearts” and the fist-in-the-air stomper, “The Shore.”


The second half of the record lags, though, as ennui creeps in. “Dakota” and “Reprise” both suffer from too much sensitive-guy vocalizing, while album closer “Josephine” sounds like one of those dull Oasis songs sung by Noel Gallagher. Wiretree have a lot going for them, not least of which is the ability to craft a memorable rock song with a decent pop melody. Now they just need enough of them to fill a whole record.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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