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The Wrens are an American indie rock band hailing from New Jersey. They have released three albums to date, the last in 2003 to critical acclaim. Their early work incorporated punk stylings however more recent work has been matured and melancholy.
Early Years & SilverEdit
The band was formed by brothers Greg and Kevin Whelan in the late '80s, and recruited guitarist Charles Bissell and drummer Jerry McDonald in 1989 and 1990 respectively. The band's first full-length release, Silver, was released in 1994 under the Grass Records label. The album was loud and aggressive, noted on tracks Down To the Service and Adanoi. Although the record label were relatively happy with the end product, the band have been retrospectively critical, calling it messy and rushed, "with only two decent tracks". Although being mainly punk in origin, it did feature dabbles in other styles, such as the slower Dakota and alternative metal songs Strengthless and Decided Girl.
The band's second album was released two years later to Silver and featured a more matured approach, though still with punk origins. Hat's Off to Marriage, Baby and Dance the Midwest reflected the band's early years, but emphasis was on more accessible songs, such as the indie tracks Joneses Rule of Sport and Built in Girls, and more mellow songs like Counted on Sweetness and Made Enough Friends. It was named after the band's hometown, Secaucus.
It was released again to critical acclaim, and garnered attention from the new owners of Grass Records. Midway through a tour, the band were issued with an ultimatum; sign a new multi-million dollar record, or be dropped. Part of these conditions including taking a more radio-friendly approach. The band declined this offer on the grounds that they did not want to be watered down and manufactured. Now Wind Up Records, the label pulled promotion on The Wrens and claimed ownership of all Wrens' releases. This caused mass legal battles dragging into the next century, with Wind Up finally relenting in 2006. They still owned ownership of the albums, but the band could now self-release the albums.
It took another 6-7 years before the group released another full-length record on a friend's label, being The Meadowlands. This yet again garnered critical acclaim, but failed to have much of an effect outside their existing fanbase. It took a much more mellow approach and reflected the group's struggles, noted in the single This Boy Is Exhausted. It also featured piano ballads in Thirteen Grand, but also showed flairs of their roots, with the loud Faster Gun.
The band have not released anything since 2003, and although have been active on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, have yet to produce any physical material. They are however working on a new album, which has an expected release date of 2014, but could be delayed further. All band members have full-time jobs so struggle to find the time to meet up and record.