Robert Jon & The Wreck are back and ready to tear up Europe all over again with their new record, Last Light On The Highway. The impressive new album, self-produced by Robert Jon & The Wreck, will be released on Friday 8th May 2020 but the first single from the album Oh Miss Carolina was released at the end of March.
Robert Jon & The Wreck have been writing songs and releasing albums since the band’s formation in 2011. Since then, this quintet of follicularly proficient gentlemen have fine-tuned their sound playing to packed houses across Europe and the United States, receiving accolades and rave reviews for years – from nominations of “Best Rock” and “Best Blues” and winning the title of “Best Live Band” at the Orange County Music Awards in 2013, to being praised as “Classic and fresh at the same time” by Rock The Best Music, “Raising the bar for the Southern genre” by Blues Rock Review, and “keeping the history of classic 60’s and 70’s rock alive for newer generations” by Blues legend Joe Bonamassa. The band are currently hoping to be touring across Europe during the summer with a live double album also planned but, sadly, that looks increasingly unlikely.
In the meantime however, we have this meaty little offering to enjoy.
The band are Robert Jon Burrison (Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar); Andrew Espantman (Drums, Background Vocals); Steve Maggiora (Keyboards, Background Vocals); Henry James (Lead Guitar); Warren Murrel (Bass, Background Vocals)
The single Oh Miss Carolina shows the band as a unit at its finest. It tells a tale that everyone can relate to in any relationship; how to set differences aside and move forward. With a stonking chorus and heavy southern rock riffs, this is a song that will become anthemic. Watch the video below to see the fun!
The rest of the album contains a surprising variety of musical styles – Work It Out has a full horn section and soulful background singers, plus a very meaty sax solo! Next up is an Eagles inspired number, Can’t Stand It. It’s a song about being in the process of being left or ghosted by a significant other, and then trying to weigh the cons and wrangling the emotions you’re left with when someone hangs you out to dry. It’s a really catchy tune, a highlight being the guitar harmonies of Henry James and Robert Jon. Tired of Drinking Alone is then a classic blues number with some lovely slide guitar. Grab a beer and listen!
Do You Remember then serves as a reflection of the old days, looking back on the good times that you had when you were young and dumb and full of rose-tinted dreams. Don’t Let Me Go is then an aggressive rocker, starting off with a monster guitar riff by Henry James. It makes you realise that Robert Jon & The Wreck ain’t just a country band. These boys can rock. One Last Time is another stylistic first for the band, trying to blend the grunge sound of their youth with the 70s rock and roll they grew to love. The big riff at the end of this song and destructive solo are stretching the band’s sound to places it’s never been!
The album concludes with a double-header, Last Light on the Highway Parts 1 and 2. All sorts of influences here, from Radiohead to Pink Floyd, Deep Purple to Steely Dan. It starts with a beautiful acoustic section before Part 2 ramps it up with soaring guitar solos and riffs. The result is a something the band had never previously dreamt of achieving!
So! – this is a nicely varied slab of southern rock, but with differing styles shining through and a decent selection of tracks that hold your attention throughout. Well worth listening to!