Saturday, 14 September 2013

Wiretree - Get Up

Album review by

As I sat down to write this with a little sense of dread, not because I've heard bad things about Witretree, (far from it!), but due to a slight pounding in my head from last night's unexpected bottle of wine and following gins. As it turns out Wiretree are the best cure, a perfect blend that acts like the sweetest tonic and within the first verse of the title-track, and lead song 'Get Up', my head is crystal clear. There is a lightness of touch melded with a lush sense of joy which is infused throughout 'Get Up'. But this is no generic Mumford romp, simply a great way to start the album, if not your day. 'Marching Band' is as bright as 'Get Up'. There are nods to 'Band On The Run'-era Wings, and then there is the couplet of "I used to listen to the Beatles and The Stones, then I found other bands". 'Marching Band' is no mere homage, and Kevin Peroni has a Westerberg ability to make the mundane shine.

With an angular guitar and snapshot drums, 'Out Of My Mind' is more urgent fare. It has a enticing new-wave edge that draws you in then sweeps you up in a dramatic rush. It may be hued darker than the openers but is stronger for it. The sense of drama keeps building, until it all suddenly stops and you are left teetering on the cliff edge. After the tension of 'Out Of My Mind', there is an initial slow release of breath with the start of 'So Bold', then it mutates into a great Americana rock song. Like Big Star dining with Wilco, 'So Bold' has perfect touches of exquisitely harmonised vocals with a deliciously vibrant guitar enriching the whole song. A highlight on a shining album. With a near bluegrass undercurrent, 'Doctor' is a different animal; languid with a sense of seduction as we are told "he was taken by her eyes". Over the earthy undercurrent is layered an increasing sense of carnal malevolence brought by a ragged solo that climaxes the song. The headiness of 'Doctor' ebbs away with the harmonies and lament to love that is 'Take Us Away'. You can feel the warm sun on your face as you lie in the summer's grass with her, watching the clouds. Peroni sings "…don’t know what we're gonna find. Give me love, give me cheap wine", and it's the perfect encapsulation of 'Take us Away'.

'In the City (Rail)' is Wiretree's first slight stumble. By no means a bad song, it just feels a little forced and generic, like a Whiskeytown outtake that is missing that touch of magic that has touched the rest of the album. Then it near redeems itself, reaching high and strong at its close. With a Posies' sense of sparkling indie pop, 'To The Moon' is a delightful waltz of the end of romance. A plea of loss with "I wish there was something you could do", which mirrors the song's sense of grace and finesse. Then 'To The Moon' unfurls out into the truly epic and you revel in its quite stunning, Powderfinger-era, glorious coda. And so to 'Get Up''s close and 'When You Were Young'. A simple, reflective song that encompasses the sweep of the album and the trails of life, all wrapped in coat so warm and rich that Alex Chilton would want to wear it. 'Get Up' is a deceptively wondrous album' which has cleared my head and put the sparkle into my day.

Wiretree's website

Buy the album

Catch them live:

Sep 21 The Parish Underground, Austin, TX

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