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Monday, August 14, 2017

Rhett Repko - About Last Night (2017)

Written by David Swafford, posted by blog admin

With pop music essentially compromising bubblegum versions of electro/techno in the 2000s, it’s about time someone takes the genre back in time.  We don’t even have any Springsteens or Mellencamps these days.  If you want guitar, you’ll have to sail heavier waters.  Rhett Repko is one of the few exceptions to the 2017 rule of thumb.  Here is a guy that writes catchy, easy on the ears tunes with melody that also happens to play guitar in addition to featuring a lead guitarist in his band.  Someone get the smelling salts for I may have faint.

Repko’s debut release About Last Night may have some extreme pop traits, most notably felt on the “November Rain” styled acoustic/string masterpiece “About Last Night” and he may go totally mad with his acoustic guitar on closer “Bye Bye Baby,” but the rest of this album is a very fair division of pop with rougher, hard-rock edges.  It won’t challenge Black Sabbath or Deep Purple for the throne, yet if you interviewed Repko about his music he’s probably a bigger fan of those bands than anything currently going.  Heck, the man likes both Nirvana and The Beatles, so we know he’s got an ear for real rock. 

“Were You Ever Really Mine?” showcases the wide gamut of influences on the EP; acoustic guitars glisten, Beatles’ leaned multi-part vocal harmonies give the songs legs and hooks to run with, the rhythm section is always utilizing spicy rock n’ roll grooves and the lead guitar fires away on riffs and solo-oriented counterpoints.  There’s a great blend of influences here and they are all at work in different parts of the song.  The same can be said of “Inside of Me” though on this tune in particular, Repko polishes off his surfboard and hangs 10 on a California beach rock wave not heard very often in 2017.  “On the Run” furthers the singer/songwriter’s forays into soft acoustics given some fiery passion by plugged in riffs and lead guitar interjections. 

As a collection of songs, Repko’s EP works well more often than not.  It would be interesting to see how he streamlines the influences in the future but as it stands there is a lot to work with Rhett’s repertoire and he keeps things from falling into boredom by making sure the dichotomy of vibes is always changing.  If you like your pop with hard guitar meat and bubblegum catchiness, this will be your new go-to. 

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