Wednesday, July 5, 2006
Upon first listen, one might think The Rewinds have to be from Birmingham, England, and not Alabama. But make no mistake—these guys are good ol' Southern boys. The confusion comes because their self-titled debut album, just released this month, is a unique mix of '60s Brit-pop vocals and '80s Brit-pop guitar. The timing for this debut could not be better, as The Rewinds provide the perfect soundtrack for the summer months.
Michael Shackelford, lead vocalist and guitarist, says that the Brit-pop connection is pure chance. "I don't know if we could be classified as 'Brit-Pop' since we are not from England—I think it is just a coincidence. We are definitely not trying to be something we're not. We are just Southern kids who like to play music with good melodies."
Shackelford joined The Rewinds a little more than a year ago, after playing drums in some other Birmingham-area bands. Shackelford's songwriting prowess seemed to be just the thing the band needed to get things off the ground. He was writing a lot of songs before officially joining, and once he got together with the original three members—Glenn Drennen, Chris Markham and Brooks Marks—the band really began to gel.
The Rewinds' music can only be described as infectious, catchy, good pop—the kind you find yourself humming after only hearing it once or twice. Each song is built on a strong melody, driving beats, and lots of energy; yet no two songs are exactly alike. This is not one of those bands whose songs are easily identified—The Rewinds have the talent and creativity to keep listeners guessing.
"Ghostriders," a fun road-trip song, starts with a Cure-like guitar riff, which then moves back a few decades into a late-'60s/early '70s rock sound. "Voice In My Head" features a strong melody and lush guitars reminiscent of Coldplay and a bit of U2. "Killing Me" shows the band's ability to switch easily from driving rock to a more laidback acoustic sound just made for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Shackelford says that the band's ultimate goal is "melody-driven" music, and they have achieved it with their debut album. The band pulls inspiration from both "old-school" influences, such as Big Star, The Kinks, Velvet Underground and The Replacements, and "new-school" influences like The Islands and Broken Social Scene. It is obvious why The Rewinds are drawn to such influences, as those bands are also known for their catchy melodies and solid songwriting.
A lot has happened for The Rewinds in a short time. From the moment Michael Shackelford joined the band, solidifying the lineup, the music came pouring out, and success seemed inevitable. They began recording the album in August 2005 at Vintage Vibe Studios in Atlanta, Ga. The Rewinds had so much material they wanted to include they eventually had to trim the album from 25 to 14 songs—meaning another album is probably not too far in the future. On June 6, their debut album was released, kicking off an official U.S. tour.
The Rewinds can be found on the Livewire Recordings label, which is home to such other up-and-coming artists as The Comfies, Ashton Allen and Devon Allman's (yes, one of those Allmans) Honeytribe. Being associated with a label like Livewire classifies The Rewinds as a truly "indie" band. Like so many other indie bands, The Rewinds have found an outlet through MySpace.com and the Internet. Shackelford thinks they have reached a broader audience using these outlets and their own Web site.
The Rewinds were in Jackson in May, and with the release of their new album, are making their way back to town. They will be at W.C. Don's July 13. Shackelford says concert goers can expect to have a good time.
"We take ourselves seriously, but not so much that we are 'stiff' onstage. We move around a lot and get the crowd involved. It's just a good rock 'n' roll show, like they used to do back in the day," Sheckleford says.