Written by David Shouse, posted by blog admin
Rhett Repko debuts on the scene with 6 songs of guitar-laden, pop-inflected rock that sounds like it’s from another time compared to most of the hit songs currently lighting up the airwaves. It’s not heavy yet it isn’t light either; striking a fine balance of gnarly guitar riffs/leads and super melodic, acoustic dreaminess. There are no failings to be found here as Repko’s talents all universally register as strengths on the talent-meter.
“Were You Ever Really Mine?” is the opening number and it’s a good of the music to be found from front to back cover on the EP. Rousing acoustic guitar bits played with a quick tempo and high-energy ride alongside smoldering electric riffs and bluesy leads while drummer Tom Bryant’s maintains a quick pace on the snare and bassist Dan Gallagher settles on a deep low-end churn. Musically, the tune shifts gears on a dime from twinkling pop to exciting rock guitar, all the while Rhett’s high/low pitch switches unfold melody for days. The same can be said of “She Loves Me” that has a Hank Williams-tinged acoustic twang to the guitar work that eventually opens up into fields of electric expanse, sort of like Social Distortion gone Top 100.
Elsewhere “About Last Night” the EP’s show-stealing ballad; melancholic, mid-tempo and mercurial thanks to the addition of violin/cello for epic contrasts that offset the gorgeous pop vocal melodies… without a doubt, one of the finest tunes of the 6 included. “Inside of Me” embellishes a traditional, 4/4 rock groove filtered through dirty garage production. It’s a Jekyll n’ Hyde affair that way as the 60s aesthetics are rough enough to jive with the early Animals’ tonalities but the songwriting is sugary sweet; overall an excellent mix of crunch and smarts. “On the Run” is a straightforward rocker that clashes into the acoustic ballad “Bye Bye Baby” for a crystalline finish.
Rhett Repko’s 6-song debut is a wonderful find for guitar rock fans that like their riffs to congeal into pop spectacles. Though the rockers are fantastic, it’s the winding ballads that really struts Repko and his band’s best traits. They wring emotion out of every pore of the listener and stick in the mind long after the last song ends. For anyone that thinks pop songwriters are fresh out of tricks, they will do themselves well to pick up a digital or physical copy of this top-notch release.