Robert Jon & The Wreck – One of a Kind – EP
This 4-song extended play was produced by legendary producer/multi-Grammy-Award winner Don Was (Bonnie Raitt/John Mayer/The Rolling Stones) with Dave Cobb (Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton). This time Was tackles the music of southern roots rockers who provide a sprinkle of authenticity in modern rock n’ roll.
Comprised of Robert Jon Burrison (lead vocals/guitar), Andrew Espantman (drums/background vocals), Henry James Schneekluth (lead guitar/background vocals) & Warren Murrel (bass) & recorded in Los Angeles the band sculpts a return to traditional rock n’ roll with a fervor. They manage its fading roads with stirring tunes & aggressive playing & unlike some bands of the alt-country vein that are similar to them – they have the soul of the genre properly distilled.
There are only 4 songs in this set, but the deep raw whiskey-buffed vocals tempered in styles scuffed by Jon Dee Graham, Tony Joe White, Buddy Miller & so many others who turned this kind of rock n’ roll into a classic genre. It’s here in spades. Robert Jon & The Wreck unleash their inspired melodies with expressive lyrics & decorated performances. Chiseled & perfected with the same appealing distinctive vocalizing instincts postured well by bands like Big Back 40 (“Blood”) & C. Gibbs Band (“Drag the Ashes,” “Cut My Spirit Dry”).
With a song like “Pain No More,” they maintain their heartland rock beat with their riveting southern California style music with splashes of grunge on its guitar assault. But that ain’t a bad thing – it’s just a little more aggressive than an average rock song.
The music is diversified enough to keep their appeal clock ticking & interest strong on high alert. One of a Kind – EP (Drops March 10–Journeyman Records) with songs like “Come At Me,” — a more jangly guitar approach with the sharp contrast of Robert Jon’s powerhouse vocals. The songs are all well-arranged & though there isn’t anything new being created here their ballsy showcase stings in all the right hip-swaying places.
They should lose the Z.Z. Top shades though & develop their own trademark. The music is also far more exceptional than their videos. Image is important guys. The music itself by Robert Jon & The Wreck is like the difference between polyester & wool blend. The fabric has to breathe for comfort.
This band breathes.
Highlights – “Pain No More,” “Who Can You Love,” “One of a Kind,” & the wonderful “Come At Me.”
B&W image courtesy of Bryan Greenberg & color image by Rob Bondurant.