Release Date: November 24, 2023 Genre: Alternative Rock, Hard Rock, Progressive Rock Label: Sonic Unyon Records Canadian rock outfit Big Wreck is back with their latest offering, Pages, and it marks their debut with Sonic Unyon Records. The formulation of the EP first began at the start of 2023 when frontman Ian Thornley started workshopping new songs and ideas for what would've been the band's eighth studio album. Once again, Thornley reached out to long-time collaborator and producer, Nick Raskulinecz, it wasn't too long after the two knew Raskulinecz was the person for the job. Fast forward a few months later to May, the band and the recording crew got to work with pre-production. Over the span of approximately two weeks at Noble Street Studios in Toronto, the band went on to record a whopping eighteen songs, which will now be shared through a collection of EPs, the first being bundled together as Pages. The six songs represented on Pages were entirely written and composed by Thornley and performed by Big Wreck, respectfully.
Big Wreck's latest EP, Pages, is a triumphant return that reaffirms the band's status as pioneers in the Canadian rock scene. The nearly eight-minute opening number, "In Fair Light," sets the tone with its progressive rock elements and electronic nuances. Ian Thornley's vocals, as always, are a standout feature, soaring effortlessly over the intricate musical landscape. The song's dynamic shifts, impressive bass solo, and duelling guitar prowess make it a captivating journey.
Following suit, the EP's lead single "Bail Out" delivers a heavy punch, showcasing the band's ability to craft intense and energetic compositions. It stands out not only as the EP's heaviest track but also as one of Big Wreck's most powerful offerings to date. "Bail Out" is filled with punchy riffs and a commanding vocal presence from Thornley.
"Summerlong" introduces a different flavour, opening with a dancey synth line that evolves into an 80s glam rock vibe. Big Wreck seamlessly weaves together duelling guitars and a spacey, proggy bridge, demonstrating their refusal to be confined to a single sub-genre. The diversity of sound within this track showcases the band's versatility with absolute ease.
Transitioning into the emotionally charged ballad, "Weightless," the EP takes a poignant turn. Thornley's vocals shine in this rock ballad, supported by a rich instrumental backdrop. "White Lies" follows, bringing the hard-hitting, straightforward rock that has defined Big Wreck's identity to date. It's a testament to their enduring prowess in crafting compelling rock tunes.
The EP concludes with the seven-minute epic, "Bird of Paradise." Starting with nostalgic synth-rock elements, it morphs into a heartfelt alt-rock ballad, showcasing the band's ability to seamlessly blend different styles. The track builds into a full-blown rock anthem, complete with soaring solos and vocal serenades. The return of '80s glam rock synths in the closing moments wraps up the EP in a fittingly grand fashion.
Pages is a testament to Big Wreck's musical evolution and their refusal to be bound by genre constraints. The EP's diverse range of tracks, from prog-rock epics to heavy hitters and emotionally charged ballads, highlights the band's versatility and ability to push the boundaries of rock music. With stellar production and Thornley's exceptional vocals leading the way, Pages is a must-listen for both long-time fans and those new to the Big Wreck experience.