Committed Anglophiles Wiretree have been plying their trade since 2005. They originally began as solo project for Austin native Kevin Peroni but have since developed into a full band. Now “guided by the power pop light of Big Star”, their new album sets the expectation for tune-encrusted songs from a different time.
The breezy opening title track sets the agenda for some uptempo pop nostalgia. Whereas I had previously made comparisons for Peroni’s vocals to George Harrison (and ‘So Bold’ does sound like a lost Travelling Wilburys’ number), now it’s possible to hear those throaty tones of The La’s Lee Mavers too. Certainly, there is a strong 1960’s/1970’s pop thread running through the guitar strings on these songs, or at the very least the 1990’s Britpop version of it). ‘Marching Band’, for example, name-checks The Beatles and The Stones but the plinky-plonk piano is reminiscent of an earlier history whereas ‘In The City (Rail)’ is the closest they get to the aforementioned Big Star.
Yet as much as ‘Get Up’s outlook could be described as having a sunny disposition, several songs stand out for their melancholy. ‘Out Of My Mind’ adds a welcome shot of urgency, courtesy of its intense percussion and widescreen rock production. Two of the longest tracks (four minutes for them is lengthy), ‘Doctor’ and ‘To The Moon’, reveal a depth of songwriting that stretches beyond their usual easy on the ear material and full marks too for the introspective, atmospheric closer ‘When You Were Young’.
As much as one can criticise this kind of music for shamelessly reviving scenes which have been so well-trodden, these are undoubtedly well-crafted songs, professionally produced and performed with a real love for melody. More importanly, there’s more going on under the surface than initially appears, making ‘Get Up’ possibly their most fully-formed album yet.
World Party, Big Star, The Travelling Wilburys, The La’s