Big Wreck – …but for the sun (Album Review)

Review of the Big Wreck album – ‘…but for the sun’.

Big Wreck has always been a band that skates around the edges of the prog world. Their music is at times straight forward rock, but there are always elements of risk-taking, adventurous songwriting, lengthy songs, and explosive guitar playing. After finding initial success in the 90s and shortly thereafter disbanding, the band returned, led by Big Wreck mastermind Ian Thornley, in 2012 and have enjoyed a surprisingly even more successful second life. Albums like Albatross, Ghost and Grace Street, displayed immense growth and diversity, and a little bit of prog mentality. This is a band that never makes the same album twice and is never afraid to step outside the rock norms. And with their latest, ‘…but for the sun’,  the band once again do not disappoint.

While the previous album Grace Street saw the band use more clean tones and acoustic guitars, the new album definitely leans more towards heavy guitars and more edge. The production has the drums out in front and loud. This is the heaviest album the band have produced since their return. Prior to the announcement of the album release there was the unfortunate news that original guitarist Brian Doherty passed away during the making of the record, but his presence is felt on these recordings.

The opener “Voices” lays the groundwork for how the album sounds; lots of guitars, and loud, pounding drums. It’s almost as if they wanted to channel the style of Zeppelin’s Bonham here. The first single “Locomotive” is also the standout track on the album. It is everything Big Wreck is one song – killer guitars and great melodies while still being heavy. Other standouts include the melodic “So Clear”, the metal-infused “Too Far Gone”, the groovy “Alibi” and the ZZ Top-esque “One More Chance”. The album closes on the brilliant and epic “The Fly and The Bowl”, which features some great guitar work from Thornley.

Ian Thornley remains one of rock’s most under-appreciated geniuses; a brilliant songwriter, shredder on the guitar, and as powerful a voice there is in music. While the album might not have the diversity of Ghosts or the hooky melodies of Grace Street, this album continues to grow with each listen, and again drives home just how great a band Big Wreck is.


Released on Aug 30th, 2019
Key Tracks: Voices, Locomotive, Too Far Gone, Alibi

1 Voices 4:57
2 Locomotive 5:00
3 In My Head 4:08
4 So Clear 4:09
5 Follow Me 4:07
6 Give Us A Smile 6:30
7 Too Far Gone 5:09
8 Alibi 4:57
9 Help Is On The Way 7:05
10 Found My Place 4:56
11 One More Chance 3:16
12 The Fly and The Bowl 4:36

Ian Thornley – lead vocals, lead guitar
Dave McMillan – bass
Chuck Keeping – drums

 

“…but for the sun” Tour Dates:

09/18 – Watertown, NY – Exhibition Hall
09/19 – New York City, NY – Gramercy Theatre
09/20 – Philadelphia, PA – The Foundry
09/22 – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel
09/26 – Halifax, NS – The Marquee Ballroom
09/27 – Moncton, NB – Tide & Boar Ballroom
09/28 – Saint John, NB – Imperial Theatre
09/30 – Albany, NY – The Hollow
10/02 – Asbury Park, NJ – Wonder Bar
10/03 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
10/04 – Rochester, NY – Anthology
10/05 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
10/07 – Detroit, MI – The Shelter
10/09 – Saint Paul, MN – Turf Club
10/10 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
10/11 – Milwaukee, WI – The Back Room at Colectivo
10/12 – St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall
10/14 – Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
10/15 – Atlanta, GA – Purgatory at the Masquerade
10/17 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
10/19 – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre
10/20 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom
10/21 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
10/23 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
10/25 – Nanaimo, BC – The Port Theatre
10/26 – Victoria, BC – Distrikt
10/27 – Campbell River, BC – Tidemark Theatre
10/29 – Vernon, BC – Vernon Performing Arts Centre
10/31 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
11/01 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
11/03 – Kelowna, BC – Kelowna Community Centre
11/04 – Prince George, AB – Vanier Hall
11/05 – Grande Prairie, AB – Better Than Freds
11/07 – Edmonton, AB – The Starlite Room
11/08 – Edmonton, AB – The Starlite Room
11/09 – Calgary, AB – The Palace Theatre
11/10 – Saskatoon, SK – Coors Event Centre
11/13 – Regina, SK – Casino Regina
11/14 – Winnipeg, MB – Burton Cummings Theatre
11/15 – Thunder Bay, ON – NV Nightclub
11/22 – Guelph, ON – Guelph Concert Theatre
11/23 – London, ON – London Music Hall
11/28 – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre
11/29 – Ottawa, ON – Bronson Centre
11/30 – Oshawa, ON – Oshawa Music Hall
11/04 – Hamilton, ON – FirstOntario Concert Hall
12/12 – Sudbury, ON – The Caruso Club
12/13 – Barrie, ON – Mavericks Music Hall
12/20 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall

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