Interview: A Single Sit-Down: Cold Wrecks – January First

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The first few strains of “January First,” the new single from Brooklyn based punk band Cold Wrecks reminded me a bit of Jeff Rosenstock’s “U.S.A.” (an absolute favorite from last year). Then, the song kicks into the verse and the back and forth between singers Craig Shay and Mike Vizzi who have distinct sounds: one gravelly and the other more boyish (a bit like an early Tom Delong). Then for the final third, the song goes into the slow pretty part, breaking into an emo flow that ties a friendly bow on a great single.

I checked out some earlier work as well, like their previous release “Crossing Sign” which sounds a bit like Face to Face in its chunky bass lead before kicking into solid pop punk that drives a sensitive empathetic philosophy.

In short, I’m smitten. And I had to reach out to these guys to find out more.

Cold Wrecks took the time to get back answering a few questions about themselves, the song, and what’s coming next.

The Indy Review (IR): What do you want for your band? What’s the goal?  Why do you play together?  (A bit about your past, present and future)

Cold Wrecks (CW): Most of us have been friends for a really long time. Craig and I (Mike) started our first band in the tenth grade, with CJ joining up a few short years after (we met Matan a while later, but we bonded very quickly). Our main practical goal has always been to write the best records we’re capable of making, and it’s been amazing growing together as artists and as people over the years. We also aim to forge connections with others, both through relatable lyrics and by meeting new friends on the road; some of my favorite people I’ve met on the road and especially at The Fest (which we’ve been fortunate enough to play the past two years), and touring provides a convenient context for seeing these people and maintaining those relationships.

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IR: The new single, “January First” is really cool.  I like your sound- kind of punk/emo with fun, happy rhythms. What do you hope people get out of this song?

CW: “January First” is about rejecting false nostalgia and pushing past the self-loathing and feelings of inadequacy that come with each passing arbitrary marker of time (such as the start of the New Year), to break free of self-imposed limitations and become the best possible version of yourself. 

IR: Viewed through that prism the breakdown and turn in the middle uplifts and encourages. You sing “Drop those rose-colored glasses on the ground / Stomp as hard as you can – what a glorious sound / We were never young so getting old won’t hurt / Stretch that aching back – it’s January first.” Basically, sure, the day is special, a holiday, but there’s nothing magical and the same issues and triumphs from yesterday are still relevant even if the year has changed. Just keep on going. Cool.

Is that uplifting concept a part of the band? How would you persuade people to get into you guys?

CW: We try to create a really positive, friendly environment where people can feel comfortable. I think we’re very open and easy to relate to; whether it’s through our lyrics or our social media interactions, we’re definitely not afraid to wear our awkward, anxious weirdness on our sleeves. Although most people find out about us online initially (either through spotify, twitter, or our music videos), I think this attitude come across best in our live shows, which are known for high energy and silly humor.

IR: What’s next for the band.

CW: We recorded a new album a few months ago, which we’ll be releasing in the spring. The record’s called This Could Be Okay, and “January First” is the second single we’ve put out from it so far (the first, “Crossing Sign,” came out back in October). We will definitely be touring the east coast and midwest to support the record after it comes out!

———

These guys play infectious punk with lyrics that communicate pathos and understanding gilded in catchy hooks that will keep you coming back. Their sound ping pongs between the classic punk and emo bands of before hitting all the right notes, yet unique, so that it’s distinctly Cold Wrecks.

With a new record on the horizon, we’re super stoked to see how it turns out. Check out their singles below, follow them on all the socials, and keep tabs on where they’ll be on tour.

The Indy Review thanks them for their time and wishes them all the best. Stay tuned for a record review in the Spring.

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