Album Review: Wreckless Eric – Transience

Wreckless Eric began his recording life on Stiff Records in 1977 with his enduring hit Whole Wide World when he was little more than an ex-teenage art student. 7 albums later and 4 decades of touring and he’s still able to churn out some interesting and unexpected material.

Wreckless Eric has a distinctive voice, there’s no escaping that. From the first notes of album opener ‘Father To The Man’ it’s instantly recognisable. Kicking off with a wonderful mix of The Verve and Velvet Underground, it’s an oddly juxtaposed musical canvas for some quite heart wrenching lyrics and themes. And despite the album having a cohesive musical sound all the way through, it doesn’t get repeated track by track and there’s a plethora of subtle textures and harmonies you’ll only get by revisiting the album time and time again.

He wrote the songs on the move, alone in grubby rooms, in dilapidated motels, and ‘poolside’ at rundown, out-of-season resort hotels, during gaps between tour dates. And in roadside cafes, parking lots and launderettes. “I was seeing stuff and writing it down, little vignettes. I felt like I was in a succession of Raymond Carver short stories.”

There is a strong sense of refelection at times, cycles repeating and things coming to an end, and looking back on a life. The catalyst for this being the loss of people very close to him last year.

“You start to think, that’s it I’m next. There’s more time elapsed than there is time left to go. It’s like the school summer holiday when I was a kid – at the start it stretched away endlessly but suddenly there was only a week left and then it was over. We’re all going to die, it’s inevitable and unavoidable. As this vague concept becomes more than just a disquieting reality, I get preoccupied with what is and what might have been.”

There are some really strong moments on this album. ‘Indelible Stain’ and ‘California Handyman’ being highlights. The former being a good example of his lasting influence on current bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the latter closing the album, and a fitting end, summed up perfectly.

“I could be the handyman here
In another life”


Transience is out May 17th on Southern Domestic.


Tour Dates

27 Resonance FM, Hello Goodbye (live session)
29 BBC 6 Music, Marc Riley Show (live session)

02 Leeds – The Wardrobe
03 Liverpool – Royal Philharmonic
04 Manchester – Rebellion
07 Nottingham – Trent Students Union
08 Hull – Union Mash-Up
09 Newcastle – The Cluny
10 Bristol – Fiddlers
11 Bude – The Bush Inn
12 Folkstone – Quarterhouse
17 London – 100 Club
18 Brighton – Patterns
24 Edinburgh – Voodoo Rooms
25 Glasgow – Oran Mor
26 Holt Norfolk, Community Centre

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