Bag Of Tricks (EP)

Big Wreck

Anthem, 2013

http://www.bigwreckmusic.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/24/2017

Following a very successful comeback with 2012’s Albatross, their first record since 2001, Canadian rock icon Ian Thornley and his original band Big Wreck continue their revival with this new EP, which is comprised of live favorites and one new song.

They kick things off with one of their most recognizable and most treasured tracks, their classic 1997 first single “The Oaf (My Luck Is Wasted).” This live version stays very true to the original. While Ian Thornley’s vocals are a bit on the gruff erside than they were in 1997, this doesn’t take away from how great the song still is, even after sixteen years. nbtc__dv_250

The live version of “Albatross” is really good and powerful and almost, almost tops the original in terms of grit and power. The band really did a great job with this one. Another great one, “Glass Room” is one of the better songs the band has done in their whole career. Frontman Thornley’s voice has matured a bit more and is a little bit harsher than people that may have grown up with Big Wreck in the late ‘90s are probably used to, but that’s part of the charm with this new version of Big Wreck.

For the EP’s finale (and for the exact reason this EP was probably created), the band has done a cover of a favorite of theirs: the old Cars chestnut “Good Times Roll,” which is decent enough, but there’s really nothing spectacular about it. It’s nothing to run home and tell the folks about, but it is still decent enough to get some airplay on rock radio. The band has been known to play the song during soundchecks and they figured it was time to get a definitive version of it down on tape.

In the future, the band is going to be able to take everything they’ve found out about their fanbase since their hiatus ended and create a powerful collection of tracks. This EP might just be a stopgap, but it might also help some people just get acquainted with the band and then they’ll want to start digging in the past to find what they’ve been missing. So in that respect, this collection of live stuff has done its job in spades.

Rating: C

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