Big Wreck is my master now

A month or so ago a friend of mine sent along this video, with an appropriate “HOLY @#$%!” as commentary. I watched it once and kind of thought it was good, but didn’t think too much more about it.

Then when we were in Portland for another friend’s wedding, it seemed like every spare moment we’d be all like, “Dude, play that video again.” The more we watched it, the more floored we were.

Since then, I’ve been listening to their albums almost non-stop. For a while there, I had to listen to “I Digress”, “Diamonds”, “A Million Days”, and “Wolves”, in that order, before i could do anything else on my commute.

Big Wreck is fronted by Ian Thornley, a Canadian singer and guitarist. Apparently, they had some Top 40 hit back in the ’90s (“The Oaf”), but I’d never heard it before. They made two albums before breaking up, and then Ian Thornley recorded two solo albums under the moniker “Thornley” while signed to a label run by Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger. These albums were (IMO) utterly terrible but sold phenomenally in Canada, making Thornley a rock star there. I.e., Kroeger managed to “Nickelback” Thornley’s career.

Thankfully, Thornley came to his senses and realized that Kroger was forcing him to make shitty music — he posted some of his demos on MySpace to show people what he actually was starting with before Kroeger molded his songs into radio-friendly unit-shifters. He then re-formed Big Wreck and has since made two new albums.

Anyway, if you like vaguely Soundgarden-y, Zepplin-y guitar rock, you need to check these guys out. Thornley is a jaw-dropping guitarist, a great songwriter, and an impressive singer.

I realize that this is not hip or cool music; it’s not edgy or artsy, and it’s really freaking white. But dear god it totally nails almost everything I love in rock music. It’s heavy without being cartoony, virtuosity without wankery, and rocks without being rock cliche.


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