Somewhere at the intersection of pop star relationship woes and bratty punk attitude, a river of snot oozes down the gutter and finds itself gushing into a pool of tears, stained with black eyeliner. Emerging from the broth are California natives, The Wrecks. It’s clear to listeners that the band has been germinating since the days when acts like Fall Out Boy played big guitars and infectious melodies. But expert ear-chaeologists will also find traces of DNA indigenous to the halls of the east-coast ivy league à la Vampire Weekend; predominantly their pluckiness (in both senses of the word). Nowhere is this mixture more apparent than on their latest single, “Way With Words.”

The track begins with a rock steady rhythm that is propelled by a scant but snappy guitar loop and the sting of shaker egg. Following not too far behind, the vocals start addressing a recently separated lover directly, letting her know that her things were returned to her mother’s house and questioning “Is that what you wanted?” The early 2000’s arena rock influence is explicit on the chorus with colossal guitar chords and some nifty wordplay through incompleting the phrase “you got a way with words,” shortening it to “you got away.” To round it all out, at the end of the hook, he admits that “I got away with worse.”

This line brings up the only major criticism I have for this song because the character never really goes into any detail about how he’s seeking revenge. In the following verse, he tells her “I moved on fine, just ask your friends.” This could imply that they’re sleeping with one (maybe more) of them, but other than that, the lyrics don’t give us any more insight. It feels like a wasted opportunity to bring that cheeky wit from the chorus into the story of the song itself.

If the band does have any mal intent, it’s definitely towards the listener. The bubblegum hooks on “Way With Words” are so sticky, I recommend coating your headphones in peanut butter because if you don’t, they’re going to get stuck your hair. If your do’s already doomed like mine is, you might as well check out their new EP Panic Vertigo which is available across all major streaming platforms.

I can only imagine what kind of saccharine web they’re weaving at their concerts. Speaking of which, The Wrecks will be kicking off their national tour with New Politics and DREAMERS in Cleveland, OH tonight at the House Of Blues. See when The Wrecks will be in your city:

Feb 16 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
Feb 17 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
Feb 18 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
Feb 20 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
Feb 21 – Milwaukee,WI @ The Rave II
Feb 22 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
Feb 23 – St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room
Feb 24 – Kansas City, MO @ The Truman
Feb 25 – Lincoln, NE @ The Bourbon Theatre
Feb 27 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
Feb 28 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
Mar 2 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
Mar 3 – Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall
Mar 4 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox at the Market
Mar 7 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
Mar 8 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
Mar 9 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
Mar 10 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Belasco Theatre
Mar 11 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
Mar 13 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
Mar 14 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues
Mar 16 – New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
Mar 20 – Charlotte, NC @ The Underground
Mar 21 – Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre
Mar 23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of the Living Arts
Mar 24 – Portland, ME @ The State Theatre
Mar 26 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore
Mar 27 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
Mar 28 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
Mar 30 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
Mar 31 – Rochester, NY @ Anthology
Apr 1 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre