#TBT: The Wrens, The Meadowlands (2003, Absolutely Kosher)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:20 pm February 7, 2019

The Wrens, The Meadowlands (2003, Absolutely Kosher)

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

With no news, on Throwback Thursday I thought I’d advocate for you to rediscover The Wrens 2003 magnum opus The Meadowlands.

I had the good fortune of interviewing The Wrens’ guitarist/vocalist Charles Bissell a.k.a. Charles Mexico and writing a story about the making of that album in support of a Sokol Underground gig they played with Criteria back in the day. Turned out, there was an Omaha connection to the record’s origins. From the story:

By the summer of ’99, The Wrens were close to calling it quits. The album that they had expected to take four weeks to record had lingered for six months. That’s when Bissell received a call from someone he’d met at the band’s first-ever show — an August 10, 1994, gig with Babe the Blue Ox and Big Drill Car at the Capitol Bar & Grill in downtown Omaha. It was Todd Baechle of the then little-known band The Faint.

“Robb Nansel (who runs Saddle Creek Records) and Todd wanted to set up a show with us in New Jersey,” Bissell said. “We kept putting them off, trying to tell them we weren’t playing anymore, which sounded preposterous since we were six months into making the record. So we had a nifty loft party for them in Hoboken and played drunk, which is very rare for us. They had just defined their new sound and played this great set. We didn’t play again for four years. They went on to become virtual powerhouses.”

It would be four years after that loft party before The Meadowlands was released and became an instant classic. It still holds up today, almost 16 years later.

As for “where are they now”: According to their last news update on wrens.com the band just finished mastering a batch of new songs. Unfortunately, that last news update was dated January 5, 2017…

Check out the album on Spotify:

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.