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Rhett Repko – About Last Night (2017)

posted August 14, 2017, 11:16 am by JasonHillenburg | Filed Under | comment Comments Off on Rhett Repko – About Last Night (2017)




Modern pop music has become a sea of digital bleeps/bloops so common that I don’t even turn my head when I hear it.  When someone like Rhett Repko comes along playing catchy, hook-driven tunes with prominence placed on the guitars and a real rhythm section, then I stand up and take notice.  Sadly, this is the rare bird type of stuff that the scene needs and doesn’t have any more.

This Maryland born (man, so much great much from that area) singer/songwriter works up a good head of steam on his debut EP release, thanks to a twin guitar attack and a duo of rhythm players that can match Repko’s solid compositional skills.  Opener “Were You Ever Really Mine?” piles on the folk acoustic guitars with electrified choruses that benefit from Stefan Heurer’s fiery leads; there’s both pop songwriting standards and head-nodding riff rock on display here, all of which is deftly handled by Tom Bryant’s bustling snare shuffles and bassist Dan Gallagher’s buoyant grooves.  The sweeping acoustic licks of “She Loves Me” is straight out of a classic western film with lots of spaghetti western guitar splashes rubbing elbows up against hard rock grooves and monster vocal hooks, showcasing Repko’s pipes are up to the task of soaring expressionism as well as downplayed lament.  A funk/soul swagger shines through on this track which illustrates that pop can be actual music in 2017… given the right touch and musicians.  Props to the winding guitar solo in the tune’s second half.

“About Last Night” has the layered vocal harmonies and unique ballad mastery on hand that instantly reminds me of The Beatles or a long lost King’s X ballad.  Swift acoustics, a string section and numerous tempo shifts keeps the song for being anything but a traditional tearjerker.  “Inside of Me” sports production that’s in the red and comes off sounding like a 60s surf jam/crossed with garage rock from the same era.  It’s charming in its delivery and simply sounds great as it picks and chooses the best elements from the golden era of rock n’ roll for its foundation.  Fuzzy rock n’ roll, country and pop combine into an alternating electric/acoustic jam-out during the crowd pleasing good times of “On the Run (a classic ode to running from a lady)” while closer “Bye Bye Baby” is an acoustic romp that benefits from ear-tingling falsetto vocals from Repko that define the chorus and make the song special.

Repko’s first output is a showcase for his precision playing and songwriting skills, as well as a backing band that ably can’t match his output.  If pop music allowed some visionaries like this on mainstream radio, we’ll certainly be in better shape.  There’s a few possible breakout tracks on this one, so don’t lose all hope just yet!



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