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Noise Of America
Artist: Wydown
Label: Independent
Length: 9 tracks/36:32

Weezer meets Kansas?

No-one thought it could (should?) be done, but the band members of Wydown dared to dream deeper.

Wydown is, possibly was, an indie rock quartet from St. Louis, Missouri. They are named after a tree-lined street in St. Louis county near Clayton, Missouri. According to their myspace site, the band may have played their last show as of May 18th, but I have found no reason given for the break-up and in the world of rock ‘n roll, you know how these things go. 

As is, _Noise of America_ marks the debut full-length album from this band. They also have an EP called Message From the Yes Man. Noise of America is imbued with crunchy, tight guitar playing, solid, intricate drumming and a burbling of keyboards and other assorted noises. Lead and harmony vocals are shared by principal songwriters Ethan Balis and Nate Dewart. Instrumentation is shared by the four members with three of them playing guitars, two of them playing bass and two playing keyboards. The drummer, well, just drums. But he’s good at it. One of these guys, and I’m not sure who, sounds like Rivers Cuomo from Weezer which is part of the Weezer comparison. The other part of that comparison has to do with the power pop rock stylings found on some of the songs. While other songs have more of a progressive rock nature and are a bit longer in length. But none of the songs on this disc are confined to formula or cliche arrangements. The other singer reminds me a bit of Steve Walsh from Kansas or maybe Charlie Dominici (the original Dream Theater singer for a very obscure reference). There’s no doubt this is a difficult band to classify. The press sheet recommends the band if you like Death Cab For Cutie, Interpol, The Shins and/or early Genesis. Throw all of that in a blender along with Weezer and Kansas and you would possibly get an idea of what Wydown has to offer. Energetic, upbeat, vibrant, stirring and intelligent would also help describe this band. Songs “Long Island”, “The Wizard” and “Annabelle” are highlights along with the terribly infectious title track. 

Recommended for all fans of indie rock. Hopefully the band are just taking a break and will roll on...

Chris Barlow
May 22nd, 2007



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