In Loving Memory Of
What we now euphemistically refer to as “classic” rock was once known as progressive rock. In the late 70’s, Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Yes were big heart throbs, and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler was thought to be just as outrageous as Marilyn Manson is considered today. Progressive rock, uh, progressed into hard rock like Bad Company, and later, diffused into the stage-show-based rock of Kiss and Angel. By the time hair metal took over in the mid-80’s, real progressive rock had been forever retired to the archives. It would probably take a good crop of hybrids like the Stone Temple Pilots mated with Tonic for the genre to stage a legitimate come back. And that’s just a shame. But Boston’s Big Wreck have put out a record that could maybe lead the way to a return of cerebral, hard-edged, Bic-flicking, guitar-based rock. If it were 1978, Big Wreck would be selling out stadiums all over the country, because they are what Arena rock used to be — exciting, innovative, powerful, fun, and as free of bells and whistles as you’re going to find. Big Wreck’s debut, In Loving Memory Of… flows freely with songs of life and love, sharp hooks everywhere, bad ass beats and guitars that stay crunchy, even in milk! “Fall Through the Cracks,” an addictive anthem about a guy willfully submitting to the head games of the woman he loves, is so awesome I set my CD player to repeat that one cut about 15 times. Influences are varied and so meticulously interwoven that nothing sounds terribly derivative. Still, I tasted the Cure in the delicious guitar riff to “That Song,” and the signature snare/bass drum trade-off from Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks” is all over “By the Way.” For what it’s worth, In Loving Memory Of… made me nostalgic for music that doesn’t sound like it came from a can.