The Wrens evoke as many shades of anguish on their lone beacon of a post-millennium album as they do midwest rock
music, but what's notable about The Meadowlands is how it gives over to humour. From the iridescent “Happy” to the
woozy piano number that closes the album, The Wrens often crack the surface of their album with a loopy one-liner or the
odd garish stylistic choice, which seem to be the only ways this suffocating piece of mid-life crisis could be tolerable.
Nerves are frazzled from end to end, but not without the important caveat that the genre The Wrens dabble in is not merely
for drowning sorrows, but also for celebrating the moments in life before they take hairpin turns into catastrophe. Before
your girlfriend left you; before your sister stopped taking the time to call; before your favorite record curdles under your
fingers and the words poison your puny heart; sometime after, when you’re too drunk to remember the name of the bar.
And sometime much after that, when guilt has built a house, and you’re sitting on its goddamn porch recounting its
goddamn construction, cracking open the first beer of thirteen as nature sounds off about you, as you tell your sad story to
no one in particular but somehow speak directly into the inner ear canal of every over-educated graduate who hasn’t
moved beyond the thirteen months in their lives that time has already shoehorned into the past, ten years now, twenty
years, a wife and kid ago, a lifetime, and then another four years. You can cry, you can yell, you can create the millennium’s
heretofore crowning achievement in art about the malaise of aging, but most important of all, you might want to lean back
in your porch swing and laugh. ‘Cause this story gets pretty sad.
2 Bumps | Bump