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Discovering The Little Wretches’ “Undesirables And Anarchists”

Writing this kind of articles makes me happy for two reasons: I get to write about what I love, and I get to find some new, good music.

This time around, I listened to The Little Wretches’ album Undesirables and Anarchists that was released in 2020, and it really made me remember those old-school rock albums and rock songs that do not have any computerized or fabricated sounds. Just rock…pure rock. This Pittsburgh-based rock band is not new on the scene, but this is the first time I listened to them, and it is safe to say that this album sold me on the band.

The Little Wretches are a rock band with loud and melodic guitars, subtle percussion, while the bass and piano complement each other, and the vocals are astonishing; it is almost like they are saying: “We are here, and we are here to stay!” We will let them stay… Robert Wagner, leader of the band, says that they sound like “The Replacements meets The Lemonheads,” so now you know what to expect.

We all know that the definition of “wretched” is an unhappy person, and with songs like I Rather Would Go or Give the Knife a Twist, which are both cynical and edgy (the phrase “every broken dream gives the knife another twist” sounds like something The Amity Affliction or Nirvana would write) will make you think they write depressing music, but that is not necessarily the case. They can also produce fast-paced guitar riffs, dual-tone vocals and both killer bass lines and drumming parts.

Why did I say dual-tone vocals? Because Robert is not the only vocalist in the band; some of the songs have Rosa Colucci on vocals, and she is great. Almost Nightfall is one of my favorite songs on the album, mainly because of the its mellow tone and for the dual vocal work in this one; the phrase “I ain’t going home and I’m not gonna back up” keeps repeating in my mind every time, after I listen to the song. Colucci also sings the last song, Running (Was the Only Thing to Do), which is a great song to end an album like this one; a song full of groove and a really good tempo. Colucci carries the song.

Silence (Has Made a Liar Out of Me), All of My Friends, and Don’t You Ever Mention My Name were songs that I wanted to listen to, just because of their titles; they are eye-catching and make the listener curious. Silence (Has Made a Liar Out of Me) is the first track of the album, and it is a great opener; a song with a good rock tone with an almost poppy drum beat. It is a song that will make you want to listen to the whole album in one sitting; “All of My Friends”, is one of the last songs and what I believe, the song that represents the band the most. Also, the album title comes from this song (all of my friends are on some list of undesirables and anarchists). The musicianship in this song should be acclaimed, because it will make you smile. Don’t You Ever Mention My Name continues with the band’s rock sound, and in this song, Wagner expresses that when there is an opportunity around, you should take it no matter what; a clever message.

Listening to this album from start to finish was very entertaining, and it was a very good experience. If you are one of those who loves to search and experience new music, I recommend The Little Wretches 100%!

–Kevin Tanza



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