Review--THE LITTLE WRETCHES DON'T PLAY BY THE RULES

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The Little Wretches do not play by the rules or conform to the norms. They are adventurous with their sound and are always trying to break the mold with every new release they put out. The Rock collective from Pittsburgh has always worn with pride the label of rebellious, musical misfits, and their most recent album Undesirables and Anarchists is consistent with that perception of the band. 

A collection of twelve songs of the Alternative Rock genre, Undesirables And Anarchists is a high-energy, adrenaline-rushing body of work that has that wild, raucous element that appeals to Rock fans music all over the world. HK Hilner, Mike Madden, and John Carson deliver the acoustics and percussions for the album’s instrumentals with Madden on the drums, Hilner on the piano, and Carson on the bass. Robert Wagner and Rosa Rocks provide their irresistibly powerful vocals on the songs. 

“When I don’t know what to do, I do nothing.” The brusquely reckless statement on the album’s opening song Silence embodies the band’s Laissez-faire approach to music. They also display some capacity for sentiment and vulnerability with “Harsh words cut me easily.” There are moments of reflection and self-assessment on songs such as Nightfall when Wagner sings, “I’m counting my quarters to see if I stack up, Hate to squander my wishes that way.” 

On the harmonica accentuated I Rather Would Go, The Little Wretches explore much more thought-provoking and serious themes of bondage such as in “You’re born into captivity, you don’t know you’re a slave” and “You learn to love your captor/and captivity you crave.” The song Who is America is also laden with themes of national identity and socio-economic truths. 

The song Morning finds Wagner in a more tender and sentimental state as he passionately belts out the words “I fell under your spell, I was beguiled/ What came along to wake me…morning…morning.”  The lyrics in All My Friends allude to the band’s outcast classification; “All my friends are on some list of undesirables and anarchists, it’s not even safe to admit you’re one of my friends…oh what a story we will tell, someday from jail.” Other songs such as Give The Knife A Twist and the album’s closing track Running both have their individual moments of creative brilliance. Undesirables And Anarchists is a body of work whose musical and thematic depth fans of rock music will without a doubt get to indulge and delight in. 

–Keith Dujour

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