Home Albums Album Review : Robert Jon & The Wreck – Ride Into The Light 

Album Review : Robert Jon & The Wreck – Ride Into The Light 

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Review by Taf Rock for MPM

Workaholics Robert Jon & The Wreck sure know how to spoil us. Quality and quantity are two adjectives that don’t necessarily belong together in the music world.

The American band from Orange County, California are most certainly a quintet that know how to treat us to copious amounts of quality music fitting recording sessions in between their endless touring schedule 

Any other band would have been happy to rest on their laurels content with the release of one of the greatest live albums in recent memory. Their Live at the Ancienne Belgique 13 track epic was only released in April this year and is indeed a contender for album of the year from this correspondent’s perspective

Ride Into The Light follows hot on its tail bringing new material to a hungry fanbase

Four of these tracks may already seem like old friends to many listeners having been released as the digital only ONE OF A KIND EP back in March. However this latest release is the first time these four tracks have been available in a physical format.  

PAIN NO MORE – Produced by 8 times Grammy award winner Dave Cobb and co-written by Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke fame (a band Robert Jon are often compared to) this explosive song deals with the pain we feel when a partner doesn’t treat you right even though you feel you are worth more. A fast paced galloping riff and thunderous drums introduce the song and immediately grabs your attention.

You can’t help but rock out to this track as a listener. “You dropped my heart, like it didn’t mean nothing” Robert sings with angst. “Made it look easy, I’m better off now”. It’s a song of triumph over adversity. Impressive keyboard work leads into the first of Henry’s exhilarating slide solos.

This guy is one of the finest and coolest players out there and you can’t help but be mesmerised by his talents on the fretboard at live shows. As the song draws to a close Robert really lets loose with a triumphant cry of ‘I ain’t a stranger to pain no more’. Its a shout-out we will all be joining in with at forthcoming shows 

WHO CAN YOU LOVE – The first of two Don Was productions this is a much more laid back song in a typical southern rock style which draws the first of the inevitable Allman Brothers comparisons. A good time summery kind of feel about this ballad with a beautifully soft style to the lyric and organ/piano accompanying Henry’s delightful guitar. Very soothing and uplifting.  It deals with finding out who your forever partner is “who can you love that makes you know that it will last” Robert sings. I can see this becoming a classic in future years (as will many Robert Jon songs)

COME AT ME – The band ramp it up again on this one which features an almost classic rock style lead break from Henry. It’s a great party song. ‘Everybody’s on a tightrope, walking on shells, looking in the mirror, thinking about themselves’ sings Robert before the shout-out chorus ‘come at me’. A candidate (as so many of the bands songs are) for raucous audience participation.

ONE OF A KIND – The second Dave Cobb production this track is another all-out rocker dealing with the joyous feeling of becoming a parent. It’s the kind of song that draws you in immediately and won’t let you escape. You’ll be singing the chorus long after the final notes fade away.  ‘I think I’m finally coming alive, I think I found me one of a kind’. Infectious stuff. Henry interrupts the sing-a-long with one of his trademark slide solos but it’s still party time again right through until the final note.

A change of feel and pace follows with BRING ME BACK HOME AGAIN (a Kevin Shirley production).  Soft harmonies from Robert as he sings about being away from home on the road and missing loved ones (something this band must know a lot about) ‘All that I need, is to feel your love again’ he sings in a desperate plea. Swirling keyboards play a key part in this solid rock ballad.

WEST COAST EYES – The first of two tracks produced by the heavyweight duo of Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith. Absolutely beautiful vocals here from Robert accompanied by Joe Bonamassa’s female backing vocalists. A laid back vibe with a mixture of electric and acoustic guitar, yet another searing solo from Henry midway through the song. Keyboards are a large part of this song and are provided in this case by renowned session player Jeff Babko. Robert sings about a lady with ‘The bluest California skies in those west coast eyes’ and ‘a story and a tattoo from every place she’s been’. A great chill out song

DON’T LOOK DOWN – Time to ramp it up again. ‘You’re gonna make it to the weekend, doesn’t matter if your scared’. Robert’s vocal has a sense of urgency about it. ‘Whatever you do, don’t look down’ Robert instructs us. Don’t know about don’t LOOK down it’s more a case of don’t SIT down whilst listening to this song. ‘C’mon everyone let’s dance’ implores Robert. You need to be up on your feet leaping about, grabbing your air guitar to accompany Henry’s solo. Another guaranteed sing-a-long crowd pleaser for the live shows the song races along to it’s conclusion with the whole band joining in with a gang vocal.

RIDE INTO THE LIGHT – The finale is the second track produced by Kevin Shirley and slows us right down. Allman Brothers and Blackberry Smoke comparisons are here again with a wonderful mid paced southern ballad urging us all to ‘Leave your worries at the door’. Not really a problem when we have quality music from Robert Jon and the Wreck in our lives 

Only 8 songs but every one of them an absolute gem. If you yearn for more then why not get the aforementioned 2023 album of the year in waiting  whilst your at it. After all QUALITY and QUANTITY most certainly belong together when it comes to Robert Jon and the Wreck 

Ride Into The Light – Album Track listing

1. Pain No More
2. Who Can You Love
3. Come At Me
4. One Of A Kind
5. Bring Me Back Home Again
6. West Coast Eyes
7. Don’t Look Down
8. Ride Into The Light

25 August 2023 Holzminden, Germany Schloss Bevern
26 August 2023 Herselt, Belgium Gevarenwinkel Festival
27 August 2023 Oberhausen, Germany Zentrum Altenberg
29 August 2023 Copenhagen, Denmark Beta
30 August 2023 Joldelund, Germany Gerd’s Juke Joint
31 August 2023 Köln, Germany Kantine – Biergarten
01 September 2023 Regensburg, Germany Eventhalle Airport
02 September 2023 Forst, Germany Manitu
03 September 2023 Dortmund, Germany Piano
06 September 2023 Amsterdam, Netherlands Melkweg
07 September 2023 Bremen, Germany Meisenfrei
08 September 2023 Isernhagen, Germany Blues Garage
09 September 2023 Vollmershain, Germany Open Air Festival
10 September 2023 Raismes, France Raismesfest (open air)
11 September 2023 Verviers, Belgium Spirit of 66
13 September 2023 Exeter, UK Phoenix
14 September 2023 Nottingham, UK Rescue Rooms
15 September 2023 Manchester, UK Academy
16 September 2023 Liverpool, UK O2 Academy 2
17 September 2023 Newcastle, UK Boiler Shop
19 September 2023 Glasgow, UK St Lukes
20 September 2023 Leeds, UK Wardrobe
21 September 2023 Bristol, UK Thekla
22 September 2023 Cambridge, UK Junction
23 September 2023 Southampton, UK The Brook
24 September 2023 Folkestone, UK The Quarterhouse
27 September 2023 Le Thor ( Aix en Provence ), France Le Sonograf
28 September 2023 Talcy (Blois), France Le Quai’Son
29 September 2023 Penmarc’h (Quimper), France Cap Caval
30 September 2023 Herent, Belgium GC De Wildeman
01 October 2023 Winterbach, Germany Strandbar
02 October 2023 Salzburg, Austria Rockhouse
03 October 2023 Rimsting, Germany Feuerwache
04 October 2023 Frankfurt, Germany Nachtleben
05 October 2023 Seon, Switzerland Konservi
06 October 2023 Basel, Switzerland Atlantis
07 October 2023 Torgau, Germany Kulturbastion
08 October 2023 Fulda, Germany Kulturkeller


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