Wetwood Smokes – Earth Tones & Red EP

Wetwood Smokes – Earth Tones & Red EP

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There is a moment on Wetwood Smokes’ debut EP, Earth Tones & Red, where you get a clear sense of what the future might hold for this engaging trio. The opener, “A Better Man,” is an echoing, hook-heavy guitar track that would be gold on college radio and even modern rock radio while we’re at it, and that’s just the beginning. Not only does the band have a flair for making insanely memorable tracks and an incredible sense of melody, but they also have a way with words that gets your attention, and that is, of course, half the battle right there. Josh Bowman sings in his magnetic, rich way about loving someone so much that if he could find a better man for her, then he would do it and never come back again. And he sings this with a straight face instead of in your stereotypically overwrought or emo manner. Not your standard stuff by any means, and that’s what helps get this collection of songs off to a roaring start.

Over the course of seven tracks, we are treated to a variety of rock and pop moods, some of which are augmented by darker settings and atmospherics (“Cold”) and some of which are filled with a nervous sort of excitement (“Madeline”). There are moments where a song feels like it would be perfect for sunny day listening (“The Boy with the Glass Eye”), and others which feel more like they should be absorbed in a room somewhere when you just need to be alone (“Folks”), so the tracks as a whole combine to make this something of a rollercoaster experience. Having these ups and downs despite maintaining a consistent narrative thread centered on various human interactions is part of what makes this album such a resonant experience.

This is a marvelous debut which will leave you wanting more even once the already six-minute-long closer “Folks” delivers its last note. Wetwood Smokes is a band to keep an eye on, and Earth Tones & Red is an EP you ought to check out.


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