By Melanie Stangl and Wreck Loose
Cover artwork by Derek Krystek
Halloween is just around the corner, and local piano-rockers Wreck Loose are getting into the spirit with a brand-new spooky single, “Trapped in the Basement.” The track, along with its B-side “Dumbest Guy in the Room,” will drop online on October 26th, and the occasion will be marked with a release show that night downstairs at Spirit. New music videos, directed by drummer Derek Krystek, will also be premiered for both songs. And Cisco Kid and Bad Custer are on the lineup too. If you’re looking for a killer start to your Hallo-weekend, look no further.
These tracks are the first new material from the group since their hit full-length record OK, Wreck Loose dropped last June. (You might remember that we named it our Album of the Year for 2017.) Their dynamic, engaging rock sound that balances the classic and familiar with the wildly creative is still present in these new songs. But it’s pushed even further with (as the band puts it) “walls of synthesizer,” which range from creepy in the first track to high-energy fun in the B-side. The single also sees them incorporating “found sound” such as footsteps (and other things that I won’t spoil here) to help create that creepy atmosphere.
The band elaborates:
“Lyrically, ‘Trapped in the Basement,’ a song about kidnapping, returns to some of songwriter/singer/pianist Max Somerville’s favorite themes – terror, paranoia, isolation – all sung with his characteristic wit and wry touch. Throughout it all guitarist Nathan Zoob slashes and burns while rhythm section Derek Krystek (drums) and Dave Busch (bass) groove breathlessly. The effect is massive and dramatic, a miniature rock opera in one four-minute track.”
“Dumbest Guy in the Room,” meanwhile, is a fun, bouncing tune that clocks in at just over two-and-a-half minutes. It balances pretty choral “ahh’s” and zany synth riffs with vulnerable, harder-hitting lines like, “How many times do you believe in a lie before it starts being true?/Are you waiting for someone to carry you away?/Are you waiting on really bad news?” It’s an engaging song, and a solid counterpart to “Trapped in the Basement.”
Krystek’s videos for both tracks will bring back his trademark VHS-style aesthetic (with assistance from animator Jonathan Hape and editor Bryan Heller.) Together, the videos tell the story of “a day at the zoo gone very, very wrong, when a trip to see the anteaters leads to Max’s disappearance.”
If you’re as curious as I am to see what that’s all about, get to Spirit by 9 PM on October 26th. Cover will be $10 at the door. An extremely limited run of lathe-cut vinyls will be sold at the show, as well as new logo posters designed by Pittsburgh artist extraordinaire Joe Mruk. The track will also be available on Spotify, Bandcamp, and the band’s website that day. This event is 21+.
“Trapped in the Basement” and “Dumbest Guy in the Room” were recorded with Al Torrence at Music Garden Studios. Check out the Facebook event page, and keep up with Wreck Loose directly here.