Sometimes a young group comes along and restores your faith in musicianship. Maybe it’s the simplicity of the approach. Maybe it’s the lyrical content. Maybe it’s just the sound, but after listening to Earth Tones & Red just once, I was hooked. The seven track EP is the debut from the Orange County trio, but if it’s any indication of what a full LP could be, I can’t wait to hear more.
Wetwood Smokes hasn’t been around long, lead singer Josh Bowman even points out that he’s only twenty-one years old on “2AM in the Morning”, while also letting us know that is just long enough to have at least been through something. There is a sense of playful maturity all through the EP, especially on songs like “A Better Man” where the trio pines that they’d almost gladly find a better alternative for their lady IF that was possible.
The most direct, contemporary comparison I can make for Wetwood Smokes would be another rock trio Two Door Cinema Club. The major difference between Wetwood and TDCC is the lesser pop-rock sound that Wetwood has exhibited here. Not that they are without pop appeal, the clear single “Madeline” is made for radio play, and if you haven’t heard it already you surely will soon enough.
Earth Tones & Red is a short and sweet EP that introduces most to Wetwood Smokes, and reassures those who already knew who they were that they are the real deal. I was in the former of that group, and I hope that they go one to make more music, at least one full EP. Until that time, get your hands on Earth Tones & Red as soon as you can. I don’t think that you will regret that decision.
Worth a listen: Madeline, A Better Man, 2AM in the Morning
Earth Tones & Red Available in June