The Wrecks dropped their sophomore album, Sonder, today and it’s clear how much their sound has matured since their beginning.
The American pop rock band based in Los Angeles began as vocalist/producer Nick Anderson’s sole endeavor and has since been rounded out by Aaron Kelley (bass), Nick “Schmizz” Schmidt (guitar) and Billy Nally (drums). Sonder follows the release of the band’s 2016 debut EP We Are The Wrecks. Since 2016, the band has been on three headline tours and have supported multiple artists at shows. They are currently on tour until the end of July.
Sonder kicks off with the title track, which makes for a strong beginning. Right from the get go, it really does sound like a pop-punk song. It feels angsty and it has a halftime feel in the drums and guitar. We like the song a lot because of the meaning of sonder – the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. It’s a great name for an album and gets the 11 track album off to a hot start.
After “Sonder,” The Wrecks keep the pop-punk feel alive and well with “I Love This Part.” It even has a screaming part which really sells the pop-punk genre. It’s clear that The Wrecks fully honed-in on and embraced their characteristic genre bending alt-rock throughout the album. We think that “Where Are You Now?” (feat. girlhouse) is a great change of pace in the tracklist. It’s a little bit slower and the harmonies in the pre-chorus are angelic. The chorus has a bright melody, but deeper, more emotional lyrics. The piano addition to this song also sets it apart from the first two tracks.
The Wrecks go back to the traditional pop-punk feel with “Don’t Be Scared.” This one, like the others, has a very catchy chorus that you’ll catch yourself bobbing your head to. “Unholy” really begins to show their vocal range and genre bending. “Dystopia,” and “Unrequited” follow the trend of showing how vocally strong the band is.
The angst takes a turn and so does their sound in “No Place I’d Rather Be.” Even from the beginning of the track, it sounds a lot different than the rest of the album so far. The drums, guitar and vocals seem softer. It’s a refreshing change of pace and we think the placement of this song in the tracklist is perfect. “Ugly Side” has the same sound as the previous song. It’s upbeat in a bright way and the lyrics are realistic, just be upfront with who you are, don’t put on a show.
“Normal” is one of our favorites, if not our favorite. It’s a lot slower and has lyrics like “I’m getting used to your silence” that cut deep. The chorus picks up and the bass hits on the drumset are so well placed. It really puts emphasis where it needs to be. Another part we like about this track is that near the end it fizzles out and sounds almost like fireworks going off, then the chorus breaks in again before the end of the song. The last track on the album is “Lone Survivor” and we think it ties up the album well. It’s an empowering ending to an otherwise emotional album about love/loss.
Overall, we think the album is unique in that it feels like two separate albums because of the different sounds. The pivot is definitely around “No Place I’d Rather Be.” When we hear that song, the drums become a lot softer, and so does the guitar and vocals. Even going back after hearing the album front to back you can tell a difference in sound between the first song and last song and that’s something you don’t see too often. We really enjoyed this album and you will too! We can’t wait to see what The Wrecks will do next!
Our top 3 from the album (no particular order):
- “Where Are You Now?” (feat. girlhouse)
- “No Place I’d Rather Be”
Our Album Rating: 8/10
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