TWANGY AND DUSTY: The Wrong Reasons.
After a brief hiatus during which the future of the band seemed in peril, the Wrong Reasons have mustered a gallant comeback, and this time it’s for all the right reasons. Joe Fletcher, drummer Mike Cyr, and bassist Matt Oliva currently make up the nucleus of the band, which has been powered by a cabal of classy roots-rock talent that has included guitarist Dennis Kelly (Boss Fuel, the Worried, the Deterrents, the Stumbleweeds), bassist Jack Hanlon (Amazing Royal Crowns, the Deter¬rents), drummer Dale Cunningham (Glazed Baby), and guitarist Greg Burgess (Amazing Royal Crowns). Now freshly back from the brink, the band has been inspired not only to stay together, but also to get through a big-ass tour and record an album.
Bury Your Problems, the band’s full-length debut, bridges the gap between Steve Earle and some gin-soaked band like the Waco Brothers. It has a dark, slightly haunted pall to it, a la the Mekons, thanks to Fletcher’s twisted, throaty rasp and the Kelly/Burgess team’s wacky strumming. The band is best when it revs up and lets it fly, as on “Who Makes the Knives,” “A Better Place,” which gets really screechy and cool as it wraps up, and “I Never,” a grisly set closer with a couple of greasy guitar solos. The acoustic tunes have a western feel — dusty and dry — the kind of songs you might have heard Woody Guthrie do if he’d heard punk. But regardless of whom it sounds like, it’s nice to hear roots-rock resurfacing. For a while there, the city had been losing its twangy Telecasters. Now, thanks in part to all the Wrong Reasons and other bands with regional ties, it’s on its way back.
The Wrong Reasons + Acid Blues Kings + Federale + Samuel James | September 8 | Jake’s Bar & Grille, 373 Richmond St, Providence | 401.453.5253
On Saturday, a major convergence of events in Pawtucket makes the city a critical destination for local rock fans. First off, Machines with Magnets, the area’s lauded recording studio, is celebrating its first anniversary in real style with 12 hours of live bands. This happens in conjunction with another big occasion, the Pawtucket Arts Festival and with the opening of Project Digs 4. Musical performances at MWM begin at noon, and will feature sets by DIRTY ON PURPOSE, NEPTUNE, WHITE MICE, LOLITA BLACK, SWEETTHIEVES, AREA C, DÉJÀ VU MOUNTAIN, EYES LIKE SAUCERS, DAUGHTERS, SICK ELECTRIC, HOWL, BADMAN, ANIMAL HOSPITAL, TXOCA TXOCA, THE AWESOME BROTHERS, and JARED PAUL. There will also be crafts, books, food, and more from If’n Books, Kafe Lila, Nice Slice, Comics of Love, Recycle-A-Bike’s Mechanics-A-Go-Go, SecretEye Records, and the Dirt Palace. Incidentally, Recycle-a-Bike is a Providence-based non-profit, all-volunteer community bicycle recycling and repair shop and education program, currently based at the Steel Yard, 27 Sims Street, Providence. The opening of Project Digs 4, held at the MWM space, will feature artwork by Kendra Plumley, a poster art show, a weaving demonstration, and DJs.
MWM took a huge step forward moving into its new space. Owners Lauren Holt and Keith Souza relocated last year from its smaller East Providence location to a 13,000-square-foot plot in the historic Gorman Furniture building. Lauren, Keith, and the team undertook the massive renovation, and — with the work now nearly done — have good excuse to celebrate its first year.