Review: The Wayside Shakeup – Can’t Control the Night

Artist: The Wayside Shakeup
Album: Can’t Control the Night
Released: November 10, 2017
Genre: Roots rock/Americana

Philly-area band The Wayside Shakeup has been working on their new album, “Can’t Control the Night,” for quite a while. Last February, they released “Stay Up” as the first taste of the new collection (which ended up winning our Founder’s Pick for the Best Song of 2016). Earlier this year, they followed up with “Hometown Burndown,” a fun piece of pop rock fiction based on real events.

These enjoyable tunes were merely a small sampling of what was to come. With “Can’t Control the Night,” The Wayside Shakeup has showcased their versatility and groove in a way that sends them into the regional Album of the Year conversation.

“Can’t Control the Night” certainly contains the anthemic melodies that The Wayside Shakeup is known for, as evidenced on “Hometown Burndown,” “Broad Daylight,” and the clap-and-sing-along fun of “Same Old Place.” The band also finds itself heading into funk territory on “Before I Go,” whose bassline is infectious enough to almost make you forget that the song laments a relationship on the rocks.

Where things get especially interesting, however, is on the last two tracks, where the band experiments in new ways while maintaining its signature accessibility. “Starsign” fittingly has the feel of an interstellar transmission, by way of its fuzzy, reverb-laden vocals, ambient keys, and otherworldly guitar tones. That blends nicely into “Whatever Lights Your Way,” a rich soundscape with a marching drumbeat and a captivating hook that combine to create an exciting tension to close out the album.

Track listing:
Hometown Burndown
Broad Daylight
Never Any Evidence
Before I Go
Hall of Fame
Same Old Place
Stay Up
Starsign
Whatever Lights Your Way

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