Wayland is a band I’ve attempted to see live over the last few years when they play Denver but they have evaded me every time. Sneaky bastards. Wayland is based in Michigan but seem to play in Colorado every 4-6 months. General bullshittery or a last minute conflict has always rock-blocked me.
I discovered Wayland by seeing their name listed on tour promotions with Bobaflex and others. I always research bands on a tour if they are opening for bands I like. The thing I always thought was odd was they only had a few singles and an EP since 2010 but are on the road constantly. They finally released their first full length, Rinse and Repeat, near the end of 2017 on the Mighty Loud label.
So this week was yet another fail to see them live but since I have been wanting to write about this band for awhile I’m not waiting to do another concert review… that I end up not attending. Therefore, I am just going to review their latest album and break down my recommended tracks to add to your collection.
In no particular order and, in fact, quite randomly, let’s do this thing.
“Welcome To My Head” This title track from their 2011 EP reminds me a bit of Shinedown before they sucked. It may be my favorite. I recommend just buying this EP, not cherry picking. (This track is also a bonus track on their latest album – a re-record. It is not good. This version somehow removes everything that was great about the original and turns into a skippable track. Do not listen. Download the original.)
“Get a Little”: This song is designed for the stage. Big singalong. I was really looking forward to hearing it live. A KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) “working for the weekend” type song. Think “Friends In Low Places” mixed with “I Love Rock and Roll.”
“Bloody Sunrise”: This is the first older track I heard when going back into their catalog when Rinse and Repeat came out last year. So good. Get it now.
“Fire Down Below”: This is how you do a cover kids. Make it your own. Holy balls. Love this one. I didn’t even realize it was a Bob Seger cover the first couple passes until the lyrics hit me. Crunchy guitars, gang vocals and reconstructed but yet somehow stays true to the original.
“Shopping for a Savior”: This is my favorite track on Rinse and Repeat. Slide guitar, horns, live vibe vocal breakdown after the chorus, just badass.
Rinse and Repeat has some solid songwriting but the production overall is far too slick for my taste. This type of production seems to get bands to the next level but I prefer the rawer sound of the tracks listed above. Per their website, the single “Through the Fire” is a top 20 Billboard single. So, it’s working.
Unlike almost all albums these days that are front loaded with the best songs, it gets better on the back end. Big time. Just start with track 7: “Shopping for a Savior.” Another prime track is “Rabbit River Blues / From the Otherside.” This song builds nicely from acoustic to electric and a nice change from the others. My last critique is that it has a few too many ballads; the best of these is “Follow.”
In short, I like the majority of the album and I’m sure I would enjoy the tracks on Rinse and Repeat more in a live setting.
In summary, Wayland is a solid band. If you check out their latest album start on track 7. If they come to your town, see them. I will do so eventually.
I’m going out on a limb and saying that they are great live. They’re road dogs. Bands don’t get worse over the years from constantly touring. Except Poison.
Buy music. Support rock or it will vanish and go even further underground like Jazz or Barbershop Quartets.