Release Date: June 10, 2014
Genre: Indie Rock
Record Label: Independent
Indie alternative rock band, The Wetwood Smokes, garnered massive attention while playing with members of Panic at the Disco and opening for Bad Wolf. The band, consisting of stepbrothers Josh Bowman (lead vocals, guitar, piano, synth, bass), Steven Howard (drums, guitar, piano synth), and childhood neighbor Chrystian Cano (bass, drums, piano, synth, xylophone), create a thrilling experience with their signature mark of rotating instruments like a Chinese fire drill and deeply rooted organic chemistry.
Earth Tones & Red, a debut album whose title originates from the colors of instruments the trio bought with their own hard-earned money, showcases a flawless mixture of pop hooks and classic indie rock. The album, which was tracked at Pirate Rock productions with producer Kerie Roark, is a compilation of pieces that reveal the pure quality of the band’s uniquely defined sound, yet still gravitates perfectly towards the sound of bands like Kings of Leon, Blake Keys and Neon Trees.
Lead vocalist Josh Bowman shows his incredibly powerful vocal chops on the up-tempo initial track “Better Man. ” The song is inundated with catchy guitar riffs, clashing cymbals, and thumping drum beats as Bowman sings, “If I could find a better man for you, you know that’s exactly what I’d do. If I could find a better man I’ll leave and not come back again.”
“Madeline” is a soothingly sweet production as Bowman emphatically sings of a lover who “crosses the borderline from running into [his] mind.”
The alluring track “2 am” has a mysterious vibe emphasized by the instrumental production and the hauntingly captivating vocals of Bowman. However, it is the final track “Folk,” which was recorded completely live, that is one of the most emotionally inspiring songs on the album as it tells a dark account of drug addiction.
Overall, The Wetwood Smokes’ debut album beautifully displays that they are a talent beyond their years. Without a doubt, this is a band that will continue to succeed in creating powerful music by incorporating strong lyrical content, flawless vocals and masterfully crafted musical productions.
- A Better Man
- The Boy with the Glass Eye
- I Am the One