Thomas Wynn and the Believers are the hottest thing to burst out of Florida since the space shuttle. The Orlando six piece have already been named the #1 Rock Band and #1 Country/Folk Band in the city for seven consecutive years by the Orlando Weekly. Their third album was recorded with four-time Grammy Award-winning producer, Vance Powell (The White Stripes, Jack White, Chris Stapleton) and continues to grow in maturity in songwriting. Part rock part Southern soul, the album fuses together R & B, gospel, folk and classic rock to create one of the finest releases. Imbued with the spirit of Neil Young, Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Allman Brothers and classic American classic rock, country crossovers, the album also draws on Wynn's spiritual upbringing.
The album is uplifting whilst touching on timeless themes. It's pure Americana from start to finish, propped up by expert songwriting, top draw musicianship, heart- stopping harmonies and some ear winding melodies which are worthy of lasting recognition.
Man Out of Time opens the album and hits you with hypnotic immediacy. Wynn's sister ( Olivia Wynn Roche ) has more of a dominant vocal on this track, but it's not only the conviction and rhythms of the track that will draw you into their music, their blood harmonies transcend the music and will leave you open mouthed. It's a terrifically accomplished opener that leaves a lot to live up to and in the hands of lesser musicians the rest of the album could easily fall flat and be desperately disappointing; thankfully it just keeps getting better.
Wade Waist Deep, is rooted in soul and blues, demonstrating the band's impeccable feel and ability to get to the heart of a song. The Hammond organ (Colin Daniel Fei ) rings out softly bolstering the ecclesiastical feel of the track. Heartbreak Alley once again makes the best use of the organ in a breathtakingly great country tinged track replete with heartfelt and passionate vocals from Tom and Olivia. The desperation and emotion builds to a crashing crescendo and is easily one of the best tracks on the album – if you were given the impossible task of having to pick, that is. My Eyes Won't Be Open is a haunting song about a father facing his mortality and reflecting on the satisfaction that he has taught his children well. Inspired by Wynn's own journey to become a parent it's a genuinely moving ballad with an out of faze guitar and an off-key piano pushing forward the feeling of accomplishment of 'what I leave behind.' It's a striking and beautifully written paean to parenthood.
You Can't Hurt Me changes the feel of the album once again with a spicy retro rock feel that's packed with Wynn's impassioned vocals, Olivia's powerhouse harmonies and some fiery licks. Just when you think this album couldn't get any better Burn As One sees things going a bit Led Zep and it's bloody fantastic! The track features some wild Blues harmonica from David Wagner and Olivia and Wynn really stretch their vocal abilities, creating a vice of sound that refuses to let go. The last couple of tracks continues to take on a darker, crazed blues feel which is unlike anything else on the album. Turn It Into Gold and We Could All Die Screaming being particularly noteworthy.
Along with his merry band of musicians Thomas Wynn has created universal and timeless music that is both thought-provoking and poignant, whilst hitting you with a melody that's as passionate as the band themselves. Wade Waist Deep is an album that has so many touches with brilliance, that it will restore your faith in modern music and will make believers out of us all.
Groupie Rating 5/5