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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wedesday Night Jams featuring Big Wreck

Big Wreck was one of those bands that had a lot going for them.

Their initial release "In Loving Memory Of...." was one of the greatest LPs of the late 90s. Alas, they fell prey to MTV. After heavy rotation of their tracks "That Song" and "Inhale" ( from the bands follow-up album "The Pleasure And The Greed" ) in 1999, early 2000 and 2001, the band disbanded in 2002.

Since Ian Thornley is Canadian, the band's biggest commercial success was in Canada rather than the United States. The album's subsequent singles, "Blown Wide Open" and "That Song", were not as successful on the American charts as "The Oaf" had been, but in Canada they were both Top Ten hits.

In October 2001, Big Wreck played a special show at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Uzume Taiko Ensemble of drummers, with The Tragically Hip's Paul Langlois and Robby Baker and guitarist Eric Johnson also making appearances.

The band's second album The Pleasure and the Greed (released in 2001) was marred by poor marketing and was not as big a hit as their debut album, especially in the United States. The band broke up a year later.

Thornley moved back to Toronto, launching the band Thornley. Doherty is now living in Camlachie, a small community near Sarnia, Ontario, and is now teaching guitar to kids in that area. Doherty has also gone on to be in the indie band Death of 8, but the other band members have not yet emerged with new projects.

Hard rock band Submersed and American Idol winner David Cook have both cited the band as an influence.

The track "That Song" not only has a fantastic riff, but Thornley's vocal presence evokes the songs message in an amazingly resonant way: when you lose someone that you love to another, there's always "that song" that play on the radio. You try to tell everyone around you that you're fine, that you'll move on. But you keep listening to that song, because it reminds you of them.

And, from this writer's perspective, it provided more than the occassionaly cold-comfort on more than a few nights.

It skirts the edges of pop, metal, and garage in a way that no other track of it's time did.

( click the links to load the videos from SPIKE's page. The audio from YouTube is all midange and treble and sounds like ass )


Big Wreck's follow-up single was "Inhale". The video lacked the imagry and simplicity of "That Song" and somewhat seemed to be a protoypical video that was showcased on MTV - when and if they did show videos. Perhaps that was the intent of the band and director, but who really knows.

The song itself is wonderful without the accompanying video.

"Blown Wide Open"

A much more fine-tuned track. The video is far less invasive and over-produced as "Inhale", allowing the song and the band to be far more present.

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