By Chris Powers
Born as the solo recording project of Austin, TX’s Kevin Peroni, Wiretree – now fleshed out into a full band – plays a mellow brand of indie pop. The bands latest release, the frail Get Up, is heavy on hooks and pristine melodies. With squeaky-clean production and simplistic arrangements, Wiretree offers little in the way of innovation. Contained within Get Up’s brief, 10-song track list is a hefty dose of melodrama and a disingenuous sense of emotional weight.
Get Up is plagued by trite acoustic guitar progressions and uninspired lyrics. Peroni’s tunes are built around changes you swear you’ve heard before – maybe from some forgotten ‘90s pop-rock single. Instead of pushing the envelope in terms of production to funnel these familiar arrangements through an interesting lens, Wiretree’s studio tidiness places its flaws at the forefront of the mix. “Marching Band” lays Peroni’s dull lyrics on display amid a monotonous piano and steady acoustic strumming. “I stared at the wall and then I looked outside/Took a deep breath until I didn’t hide” Peroni sings, devoid of any emotional connection to the song’s subject of a life’s journey.
The country-leaning “So Bold” pairs a bland melody with textbook backing harmonies, creating a cheap and pre-packaged impression. The dynamic shifts on “Doctor” are a welcome addition, but a cheesy, overdone guitar solo leaves the listener with a bad taste in the mouth. It’s as if Wiretree purposefully set out to distance itself from the expressive potential of these songs. Peroni and company clearly have talent and one can’t help but wonder if these songs would shine in the right producer’s hands.
Ironically, it’s the album’s shortest track that cuts through the shining production and feels the most earnest and realized. Clocking in at just 57 seconds, “Easychair” approaches the listener in an elegant manner, inviting them in to experience a warm, roomy bass and Peroni’s reverb-drenched melody rather than force-feeding a stale chord progression. This is the direction Get Up should have taken from the start. Don’t compel your listener to digest your music’s inner-workings with simple song structures and spotless production. Rather, guide them with subtle cues and ultimately allow them to interpret your tunes as they see fit.