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You've probably never heard of Big Wreck- but that's an oversight on your part that I hope to change. Big Wreck was a Boston based (though singer Ian Thornley hails from Toronto, Canada) Progressive Hard Rock band consisting of , Brian Doherty (guitar) Dave Henning (bass) Ian Thornley (vocals/guitar) and Forrest Williams (drums). All four attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and formed the group in 1994. As one would expect from students at a prestigious music college, Big Wreck composed well written and intricate tunes, yet the tunes were instantly accessible and hook laden. Even though the only released two albums, 1997's, In Loving Memory of... and 2001's The Pleasure and The Greed before disbanding in 2002, their body of work seems much bigger and bears repeat listens, even nearly a decade after their break up.
Don't let the term Prog-rock scare you off. Big Wreck is not some Rush or Yes knock off. In fact, Ian Thornley's voice brings to mind the rock giant Chris Cornell (come to think of it, so does his face) and most of the songs are written in traditional keys and in standard time signatures. The songs are driving and interesting and very much their own sound.
Big Wreck was certainly not your typical late 90's band. The didn't wear flannel, they had short hair, they often wore casual suits in their videos and live, and they did not even touch punk rock. Songs such as The Oaf, That Song and Under the Lighthouse, all off of In Loving Memory Of... are strong rock anthems, using heavy delay pedal, spare yet powerful guitar and strong vocals. Without being pretentious, Big Wreck said interesting things in their music. They are so many to choose from, but, for the purposes of brevity, here's my favorite, from That Song: And we always fool my friends and we head down there/They think that we are rude/We just drove by your old house and you weren't there/And I'm always great when I'm hangin' with your buds and they lie/they think that I'm just fine/it's always been that way/ Just some pocketbook brando.
Big Wreck did not write songs about how sucky life was, or how much they hated themselves and everyone else. They wrote songs that were realistic and poetic. Songs that you would not be afraid to share with others. I don't want to build them up too much,. I just wanted to write a short piece and encourage you to check them and their albums out. I think they will please you.
Update: in 2012, Big Wreck released a new record have toured in the US and Canada.