This one’s been on the RSTB radar for a little while and it’s great to finally have it in hand. Oakland’s Half Stack wander the Western deserts well, but there’s a bit more Nashville in their tank than Laurel Canyon lilt. Wings of Love wraps up a familiar alt-country formula of twang-spiked ramble and electric rumble, but the band makes it feel like first love rather than second run territory. The record deals with a certain longing to be away from your own surroundings. For the band the lure of the American heartland seems to pull strong, despite their moorings in the sunny, salt-scrubbed air of California. They play the tumble of twang well and pair it with a wistful spirit that’s as wide and free as skies along an endless highway.
While the band’s Patrick Kegler has had an admitted on and off relationship with country, the full embrace here is pure of heart. While the old school might have taught him guitar, there’s certainly a filter of ‘70s Stones, Burritos, and ‘00s revivalists (The Stands, Beachwood Sparks, etc) at work here. The record wanders through the streets looking for home and harbor, but it mostly just melts into the night air, comfortable in its wanderlust. Kegler found his home with garage and indie before finally admitting that his country roots pulled too strong, but it seems that what the heart wants is inevitably right. The auburn glow of Wings of Love is hard to push aside, and the songs here endear listen after listen with a reverberating joy, bittersweet but ultimately comforting in its own skin.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.