Nestled away in the small Wyoming town of Laramie there is a band making some of today’s best new indie rock. Wynona has released their second full-length album after a six-year hiatus from releasing new music. The band offers up a ten-track album called Great Big Room. Finding a specific box to put Wynona in would be tough. At their core, they come from the very beginnings of Emo music, but today they fall more comfortably into the two subgenres of Shoegaze and Dream Pop. To say this their sound is melodic, dreamy, and laced with lyrics of emotional reformation. However don’t be fooled, most of their songs feature heavier riffs and jams led by overdriven guitars and big drums.
Like all my album reviews I will look for the good in these alums and break down some of my favorite songs.
Great Big Room
The first single from the album is also its namesake. The song transports you to a scene of a 2012 Hipster House Party directed by Wes Anderson. You see a young 20-something guy with slouched back beanie and flannel shirt wearing skinny jeans neatly cuffed above his Chelsea boots. He is gazing longingly at the girl in a navy dress with anchors on it. Her eyes pear back from underneath her bangs. The vinyls are spinning the house is warm and the sound of the candles crankling is all they hear as they both wonder if they can use this person to fill their emptiness. Sorry to get deep there but that’s what is great about Wynona’s songs. They create a time and place that you can walk around and interact with.
The second single off of the album “A Lighthouse” starts stripped down and melodic. An acoustic guitar with wondering vocals and a space synth riff lightly twinkles in the background. At 2:47 the rhythm takes a slight shift upwards towards a seemingly happier place. Until the heavy over modulated guitars come in and Wynona shows a sense of control that they will later let go of. As the song careens off the emotional cliff I am left with one lasting impression. “A Lighthouse” is the kind of song you put on a loop because it didn’t hurt you enough the first time. (Right clicks and adds to “It’s A Sad One” Playlist)
It’s a banger, it slaps, it’s a fine little ditty. Might be my favorite song on the album. The riffs are infectious. The opening guitar riff is met with the dancy two-step of a drum line that I am always a sucker for. The verses may be the brightest the vocals get on the album. It truly is a great song but it turns into a full-blown banger at the 2:36 mark. The song goes into a downright nasty jam session that swings from dancy to heavy so flawlessly that it blows my mind every time.
“Tired Eyes” is “Tired Words”, depressed older brother. Gone are the dancy drums and bright vocals. Instead, they are replaced with mellow drama at its finest. The Guitars feel heavy like the latter days of Led Zepplin. You find yourself in a slow-motion head bang that is reserved for only the heaviest of songs. The song trudges along through the mud until 2:55 when it goes into a breakdown. Don’t let the acoustic guitar and harmonies of this bridge fool you. What follows are some of the nastiest, gross, soaking-wet jams I have ever heard.
On a side note particularly on this song, I want to point out the drums. They keep the song from sputtering or getting stuck. They drive everything along at a perfect pace that reminds me of what John Bonham use to do for Zepplin. This song fucks the end of the story.
Untilmetly, Wynona’s Great Big Room is great. Finding new music in today’s world is hard. It is even harder to find it in your own backyard. I’m happy to say that Wynona has presented an album that every former emo kid, hipster, and millennial can fall in love with.