I almost forgot this thing even existed, let alone was resident on my hard drive all these years until someone requested it last week. This sporadically functioning and even more infrequently recording New Jersey unit have made best buddies with just about anyone in earshot of the fabulous three albums, Silver (1994), Seacacus (1996) and Meadowlands (2003). Crafting a beguilingly smart and sonically dense indie guitar-rock maelstrom tethered to million-part harmonies, The Wrens, dare I say, are their own worst enemies in letting the rigors of day jobs and family life impede their pursuit of some deliriously sublime music. I’m too short on time to tout their virtues, but you’re welcome to peruse what text I’ve dedicated to them previously.
As for the music hand 20 Years of Juvenilia was dished out as a cd-r only delight to fans who attended a particular Wrens gig at Maxwells in Hoboken in 2009. The time frame indicated in the title is something of a misnomer, as the disc’s seven tracks were all committed to tape between 1990-97. The proceedings are doggedly lo-fi, with a couple of the more “ambient” pieces not even constituting ‘music,’ as it were. Fear not, there’s still a handful of gold nuggets to be excavated, specifically “Lips of Blue” and “Soft Castration,” the latter of which could have rubbed elbows with the best of what constituted Guided By Voices’ Alien Lanes.
01. The French Song
02. Soft Castration
03. Lips of Blue
04. Don’t Be Shy
06. 6th & Atlantic
Articles Origin: The Wrens – 20 Years of Juvenilia 89-09 ep (2009)