The Upshot: Pittsburgh combo plays catchy piano pop/rock and does it right.
BY JOHN B. MOORE
Pittsburgh’s Wreck Loose have managed to channel Goodbye Yellow Brick Road-era Elton John, Harry Nilsson and early Ben Fold Five throughout OK, We’re Wreck Loose, their brilliant and brilliantly infectious self-released debut. Spread across nearly a dozen tracks, the four-piece make piano pop music fun again thanks to catchy hooks and wry lyrics.
The tone is perfectly set on the first song, the Leon Russell-esque piano/guitar boogie “Long Time Listener, First Time Caller,” and rarely lets up throughout, cycling through one standout track after another. They bring back that cool ’70 swamp boogie vibe on “Hearts Been Broken.” A song like “Hard Drugs” perfectly demonstrates their bitingly smart lyrical prowess, as does “Phil Spector Just Killed Someone Today.” But just as quickly, they can segue into a more-sincere number (well, sincere-ish) like “Isn’t it a Shame About Kurt,” all with one eyebrow raised.
The album closes on a curiously mellow note, with the somber “The Day Before the Day of the Dead” and “Make It Out Alive,” but you should have already found one or two of your favorite new songs from earlier in the record that it doesn’t matter. There are not a ton of bands playing catchy piano pop/rock nowadays, but OK, We’re Wreck Loose is proof that the genre, when done right, can still be pretty amazing.
DOWNLOAD: “Long Time Listener, First Time Caller,” “Hard Drugs” and “Placebo”