Who remembers Kerbdog then? Yeah I didn't think so. Well they came back in a far more accessible outfit; Irish pop rockers Wilt. They create melodic rock with poppy undertones, nothing heavy, but still a bit urgent; they don't want to breeze along like say The Thrills.
Basically a three piece of
Cormac Battle - Guitars & Vocals
Darragh Butler - Drums
Mick Murphy - Bass
(Derren Dempsey - Live guitars & backing vocals)
For this album, think Idlewild's Remote Part but as if it'd had come from a rock background rather than a punk one. Incorporating the sort of Big choruses that early REM were fond of this album utilises the traditional quiet-loud delivery to its very death, but Battle's lyrics and keen ear ear for melody stop this becoming 40 minutes of dirge. Darragh clearly knows how to use his drums, he never resorts to empty hollow beats, preferring to put as much into every song as he can. He's maybe one of their biggest assets.
1) Distortion (3:29)
Light, pop rock drums and gently strummed fuzzy chords make up the verse, and a simple 2 line chorus isn't the most complex they've ever written, but very catchy. All in all it's a nice intro track but nothing special
2) Understand (3:51)
A medium paced, more distorted riff kicks things off, but for the verse they use shimmering guitars and a low bassline. Then the drums are rolled to signify a huge chorus where Cormac uses an interesting combination of slightly overlapping vocals that call and respond, it's very catchy and features some of the fast crashing drumming that is missing in most pop rock bands. Maybe should've been put on first to really grab your attention.
3) Take me home (3:48)
AH now this is a good change of style, the verse centres around the low rumbling bass (great fun to play) and occasional sweeps of a clean guitar. Cormac experiments with some vocal effects. The chorus uses the guitar better, but only has 4 words; "Now take me home" It's catchy but makes you wonder why Cormac didn't want to add just a little bit more.
4) My Medicine (3:43)
For me the best track, the verse again centres on the bass and twinkling guitars. But the chorus is huge, we're talking Eiffel Tower huge here, and it makes use of violins, high energy crashing drums and powerful guitars. There's also actually a solo for the violins and guitar in harmony and it works so well. Fading out on the chorus pop rock doesn't get a lot better.
5) Stations (2:43)
A clean guitar plays simple chords and slides and Cormac sings over the top, obviously bitter about someone. The chorus demands to be sung along to. This song also features a hammond and it is noticeable, creating some depth where guitars on their own would fail.
6) Dave you were right (3:24)
The verse features Cormac's best vocal performance, and it's fairly quiet, but as usual the chorus takes it up a notch and makes it louder but still east to sing along to.
7) Tell you too much (3:54)
A catchy verse follows a proper riff but really it's all about the chorus, which is faster paced and shows they still have the energy of the old days. The bridge is one of the heaviest and it layers guitars very well. By now it's clear Wilt aren't out to push boundaries instead they're here to write catchy accessible rock songs, and they do it very well.
8) Family man (3:56)
Cormac plays a bit of piano on here. The verse is about the verse again, and Cormac has a good echo effect on his voice. Again the chorus is another catchy pop rock gem, where they pull them all from I don't know.
9) Wait a minute (3:35)
The verse matches the urgency the title implies and it's great to hear Cormac sing hear "We get some puppets and a monkey". The chorus features more high energy drumming and it's again very catchy. The transition back to verse has a great heavy riff in a little nod back to Kerbdog.
10) Broken Glass (4:10)
SOme interesting vocal effects underpin a start/stop verse which leads into a chorus featuring some really good rock bassand as usual a brilliant guitar melody. A bass oriented bridge is very cool, leads into a riot of noise and sets it up nicely for the last few repititions of the chorus
11) The plan (3:54)
The last track, but not lacking in energy, it features a trumpet, and is a nice standard pop rock song that has a great focus on the drums in the second verse. A strong ending
All in all this is a gem of a pop rock album, if you like this sort of music and see this going cheap then buy it for sure. If you like your music heavier or more challenging it's probably best you stay away.
11 pop rock gems
Nice experimentation with layers
Cormac's grasp of melodic rock
11 Quiet-Loud songs
Maybe his voice is covered by effects on too many occasions
Get these songs:
Take me home
Tell you too much
As always please rate and I hope you enjoyed the review :)