Crashing Wayward - Listen!
by Kevin Wierzbicki
The cover graphic for this release shows a young woman with her mouth duct taped shut, an image that, with the album's title, conveys the message "shut up and listen!" That of course is not a message to fans, a soon-to-be huge contingent that's likely to hang on every word of this Las Vegas-based five piece without prompting. Led by singer Peter Summit, Crashing Wayward have crafted a set of songs likely to rule Active Rock Radio all summer long. On album opener "Mouth to God's Ear" Summit sings over an insistent rhythm (drummer Shon McKee and bass man Carl Raether) and a bed of buzzing guitar (David Harris and Stacey David Blades) about how words should only be spoken righteously and from the heart because indeed someone up above is listening. Summit doesn't really sing with anger in his voice but there is angst, like on "Closer," a cut about a less than ideal love relationship that has a super catchy chorus that fans will love to sing along to. "Stranger Days" is a near ballad that showcases the band in a softer light, while "Tilly" is a jangle rocker that again has a memorable hook; the upbeat nature of the song belies the fact that it is about suicide. The guitars turn up to 11 for the pounding "Death on Holiday;" like "Paper Airplane Heart" it is about as radio ready as you can get. Closing cut "Velvets Drawn" is an emotional take on personal loss and perhaps the best example of Summit's vocal talent found here. The 11-track Listen!
was produced by Mike Gillies who has worked with Metallica and Motley Crue among others and he has clearly brought out the best of Crashing Wayward.