Tucked away in Southeastern Iowa, there\’s a small town by the name of Wayland, Iowa. This is where I spent a large chunk of my childhood, visiting my Great Grandparents. This is also where my mother lives now.
So imagine my excitement when the debut record from rock band Wayland came across my desk recently. Reviewing it was a no-brainer but I was blown away with what came through the speakers.
Wayland have been touring for years already. So heavily that it’s hard to believe they’re only just now releasing their debut full length. In 2012 they released their Welcome to My Head EP and have uncovered a bunch of singles but Rinse and & Repeat has finally been unleashed and, having performed over 500 shows since 2013, the band’s tight chemistry shows strongly.
“Ghost” starts things off and is infectious, catchy from the start, which takes us to lead single “Through Fire,” which is an adrenaline rush that has that special element that most big rock hits are made of. This one’s perfect for speeding down the open highway, windows down, stereo cranked all the way up.
“Come Back to Me” slows things down at just the right time in the form of a beautiful power ballad; singer Mitch Arnold’s raspy vocals are perfect flashback to some of the 1980’s most prolific songs while “All Rise” is an electronic rock anthem that gets your blood pumping.
“All We Had” is a hauntingly gorgeous ballad loaded with pure, heartfelt emotion that anyone who’s had that relationship heartbreak can relate to, leading into “Revival,” which has a very dirty, gritty, raw guitar track that turns into one of the catchiest choruses on the album.
“Shopping for a Savior” is a southern-fried rock and roll track that has a near-bluesy vocal style that you can’t help but love. Mitch Arnold’s high notes and screams send chills down your spine and the unified vocals at the 2 minute mark completely knock you on your ass. Arnold’s long note holds toward the end of the song are the things miracles are made of. This is one of the brightest-shining songs on the entire album. This is Wayland’s coming out party.
“Ode to 37” is an almost grunge-style jam session with a little southern rock and blues mixed in, taking us to “Back to Life,” which continues the southern rock vibe and is an anthem for anyone who’s been worn down and beaten up from life and ready to rise back up and looking for their calling card.
“Follow” slows things down again with a ballad that’s as peacefully soothing as it is lyrically powerful in almost every way. This is a song you can turn on and just chill out to before “The Brave Don’t Run” kicks the party back up to the maximum. It’s a badass rock track that shows Wayland are here to take no prisoners. Yet another rock anthem.
“Rabbit Run Blues/From The Otherside” is a double-song attack. Part 1 is a slow-building acoustic guitar intro that leads into Part 2 (The Otherside), which starts as a blazing acoustic rocker with a heavy ending that showcases some of Arnold’s strongest vocals and Phillip Vilenski’s guitar skills.
Bonus tracks “Welcome to My Head” and “On My Knees” are two completely different types of tracks. The first of the two is right up there with the rest of the album in stylistic approach and shows Arnold taking us right inside the origin of where some of these songs came from and shows us what it’s really like inside that insanely creative cerebellum while “On My Knees” is the perfect way to end this record. It starts with a gorgeous piano intro which leads into one of the most dynamic opuses of the album and is as beautiful as it is dominant in every way.
In the end, this is one of the most amazing debut records in a long, long time. Not one song sounds anything like another one. Each has it’s own identity and shows the band going down numerous different musical avenues. Wayland can play literally any type of rock music and Rinse & Repeat is prime example of this.
Playing together for as long as they have before recording their debut has done nothing but help the band. If this is any sign of what’s coming in the band’s future, Wayland have the potential to be one of the biggest bands in all of rock.