Thursday, August 2, 2018

Album Review: Welles - Red Trees and White Trashes

Red Trees and White Trashes 
***and1/2 out of *****

The debut release from Welles is a fuzzy throw back to when grunge dominated the pop charts in the mid nineties. Red Trees and White Trashes touches on lots of rock and roll touch points over it's 13 tracks succeeding immensely for a first effort. 

Front man Jesse Welles is from Arkansas but recently relocated to Nashville to work with a bigger band and better producers. While the town is awash in good folk/country these days, the rock scene added a big plus with Welles.

On the opener "How Sweet It Is To Love" Welles instantly calls to mind one of his heroes Kurt Cobain, singing with that tortured howl, but the vocals and music do not stay one note, and while the Cobain influence is always present, there are other more wide ranging influences that reveal themselves.

"Hold Me Like I'm Leaving" smashes together chunky Beatles inspired riffs with the best bass groove on the record while "Do You Know How To Fuck" feels directly out of the late 70's and the Peter Frampton playbook. "Codeine" is a monster with great arena ready riffs huge drum breaks and bass slides before dissolving into a swirling psychedelic ending which drips into the single ready "Rock N Roll". 

"Into Ashes" is a dynamite mix of styles beginning slowly with a head bobbing blues inspired beat and piano work before transforming into a huge fuzz laden beast for it's finish. The production on this record is pristine as all instrumentation is woolly and alive. Producers Beau Boggs, Bobby Emmett and Dave Cobb all contribute to the proceedings in excellent fashion. "Seasons" and "Crush 19" swagger with a T-Rex bombast while crunchy closer "9.8" gets a bit digital as Welles screeches out the vocals. 

"Life Like Mine" is a galloping number that deals with crazy living and "Seventeen" is an acoustic twist on the age old young love from the male point of view, with a dramatic chorus that like a bunch of songs here morphs into something grander than it's form and lyrics. One of the detriments to Red Trees and White Trashes, is the lyrical cliches it brings up but for a first album relying on tried and true rock and roll standards isn't the worst route to take for Welles.
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

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