Les Paul - 1959 reissue

Les Paul - 1959 reissue

Friday, June 22, 2018

Rhett Repko - Thnx For The Ride (2017)

Written by Mike Yoder, posted by blog admin

Make no mistake, this isn’t a hard rock album. There’s some solid riffing scattered across the entirety of Rhett Repko’s Thnx For The Ride, but the title song and opening cut clarifies from the first that this isn’t closer to a take on classic rock fused with solid pop fundamentals and high octane energy. Repko’s intensely engaged voice pairs up well with lead guitarist Stefan Heuer’s occasional backing vocals and there’s a satisfying amount of post production gloss and effects further enhancing the tune. “Please Don’t Laugh” features a less stylized guitar sound from Heuer, vividly reflected in his lead guitar work, but the same wont for tempo and pacing experimentation remains strong with this performance. The vocals are even stronger than what we heard from the opening number and contrast nicely with the straight rock guitar attack. They slow things down to notable effect just after the song’s midway point and the dynamics of this number are even more dramatic than those we hear with the title song.

“It Ain’t Coming From You” is the EP’s highlight for me. This isn’t a put down of the six other fine tracks featured on Thnx For The Ride, but everything comes together here with just a dollop more of cohesiveness and velocity than the first two songs and you can hear Repko senses that as well. He lets a barnburner of a vocal fly all out here, but there’s always a tight grip on his style and it never feels out of control. “Maybe I’m Weak” embodies the sort of personal, yet accessible and relatable songwriting, that’s brought Repko a great deal of notice and it’s clear he’s refining his style more and more with each new composition and release. The exponential growth of a talented young musician and songwriter is a thing to behold and Rhett Repko is progressing like few others today.

“And I Told Her So” is nearly every bit the equal of “It Ain’t Coming From You” and the only area where the latter tune surpasses it is the lyrics, but that’s ultimately a matter of taste. Lead guitarist Stefan Heuer turns in an especially memorable performance, particularly his guitar solo, and it’s a joy to listen how these musicians respond to each other. There is a smattering of acoustic guitar heard on Thnx For The Ride, but it’s always in support of the electric and adds more muscle to the overall performance. “Learn Your Name”, the EP’s second to last track, is a churning, tightly arranged tune distinguished by a rhythm section working in fluid lockstep with each other and Repko’s exuberant vocal deserves mention as being among the EP’s best. The EP finishes up with the track “Make Me Right”. It’s quite a romp to end Thnx For The Ride and again shows Repko’s tendency to manipulate musical dynamics in a dramatically appealing way. Rhett Repko’s second release of 2017 is one of the best indie rock releases in recent memory and a big part of that comes from the overpowering likability of its material.

1 comment:

  1. My gosh thank you Mike for such an incredible review. I love how you can read me through my music so well. <3