For those who would say that alternative rock’s greatest days are behind it and that the term “alternative” is no longer applicable to any post-punk rock band active today, C-Wired are here to inform you otherwise in their debut EP Omega. Omega was designed with the intent of challenging all of modern pop’s most stagnant conventions with insatiable grooves catapulted towards listeners at a breakneck speed, and its uncompromising nature is precisely the reason why it’s got critics and fans from one side of the country to the next talking about C-Wired and the brilliant composer behind it, Chuck Whyard.
C-Wired’s rookie extended play offers shades of punkers of yesteryear ala Husker Du and The Go Betweens meshed with a touch of 60’s pop in the style of more psychedelically minded artists like Donovan. Their rock influences aren’t highlighted in the music itself so much as the tone of songs like “Benevolent Angels,” “Jessah” and “Getting’ Sober’s a Bitch;” all of which could be described as country songs when you break them down to their skin and bones. With each listen of Omega, a different layer of their richly diverse sound profile is revealed to us, and each one is more surprising and stirring than the last.
Chuck Whyard, the central figure driving C-Wired, shows off a musical versatility at the helm that is one of a kind and truly unparalleled among his peers. There’s a vulnerability to his lyrics that invites us to get close to his thought process and actually witness the creative spark from its very inception. Music enthusiasts will have a ball dissecting each sumptuous nuance to be found in the title track and the five slices of alternative heaven that follow it, and casual listeners will appreciate his blue-collar style of play and the relatability that it produces in his material.
C-Wired Will Take You On A Wild Punk Ride
For music consumers born after the mid-1990s, compositional complexity is essential to transforming a plain old song into a mega-successful hit, and Omega does a fine job of living up to the high standards of millennial ears without overindulging in its experimentation. There’s a satisfying hook in every song found on Omega, but the tracks themselves are so sprawling by concept that it never feels like we’re listening to a radio-ready pop song. Instead, it’s like we’re absorbing a force of energy that brings with it a unique set of emotions that aren’t our own but are familiar enough for us to understand their purpose.
Omega has got to be the most evocatively strange and beautiful EP I’ve listened to in a long time, and it’s surprisingly haunting and impressive for its relatively modest running time. I almost think it would be more prudent for C-Wired to release another extended play before they think about undertaking a full album, just so that their artistic narrative can be defined a bit more clearly, but nevertheless I have a feeling that this is the beginning of something very big for Chuck Whyard and his cohorts. I’m eager to hear more, but so far C-Wired has my stamp of approval as one of the hottest new acts to watch this fall.
-review by Thomas Patton, III