(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Silver , 6/10
Secaucus , 6/10
Meadowlands (2003), 6.5/10

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Altro complesso alla caccia della melodia punk, i Wrens del New Jersey (Charles Bissell alla chitarra, Kevin Whelan al basso, Jerry MacDonald alla batteria) abbassano ulteriormente il grado di veemenza richiesto per divertirsi e fanno spesso l'occhiolino alla tradizione sudista. Ottimo gruppo dal vivo, hanno fatto leva sul Silver (Grass, 1994 - Wind-Up, 2006) d'esordio per spargere la voce: What's A Girl, Propane, Ruth, Behold Me sono esemplari del pop chitarristico appena abrasivo post-Nirvana (slightly abrasive, post-Nevermind guitar-pop). L'uso del pianoforte aumenta la suggestione di Strange As Family, Learned In Space, William. La dinamica elegante di Adenoi e Dakota compensa gli sprazzi aggressivi di Leatherside, Crawling, Dust.

Per Secaucus (Grass, 1996) i Wrens si ritrovavano gia` con una discreta reputazione. La verve di Yellow Number Three, soprattutto Built In Girls, I've Made Enough Friends, Surprise Honeycomb e Hats Off To Marriage Baby e` pero` castrata da ballad melodrammatiche con armonie vocali alla Beach Boys (Jane Fakes a Hug). Greg Whelan e` maturato come compositore e cantante. Rest Your Head e` il nuovo singolo. Della foga punk e` rimasto poco, sostituita da una virulenta enfasi "emo".

After the first two albums, only two EPs surfaced: Low (Dow Boy, 1996), with Ruth and Darlin Darlin, and Abbott 1135 (Ten 23, 1998), with Nothing To Nothing and Fire Fire.

For mysterious reasons, Meadowlands (Absolutely Kosher, 2003) was surrounded by hype only comparable to Radiohead's. Their "emo-pop" had suddenly become fashionable. By reducing the worst excesses of lo-fi pop (read Guided By Voices and Pavement) and the most trivial aspects of neo-pop (read Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control), and by finding a middle way between the Pixies and the Kinks, they had reinvented punk-pop for the new generation (This Boy Is Exhausted, Faster Gun, and the most Kinks-ian of them all, Such A Pretty Lie). They sometimes settle for mildly aggressive power-pop ditties such as Hopeless and Everyone Choose Sides, and occasionally sink in the molasse of yawn-inspiring ballads (Thirteen Grand). The bombastic Happy and the lengthy 13 Months in 6 Minutes are good examples of how tedious their emo-muzak can get; while Per Second Second is a tense rubber band of a song that weaves a surreal tribal dance a` la Pere Ubu with verve a` la Beach Boys. Boys You Won't Remember shows how they could best spend their energies: imitating the anthemic country-rock of Neil Young. Not a complete disaster, but certainly the most over-rated album of the year.

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