Wes Tucker and The Skillets shake things up with ‘Afterlens’
On November 17, D.C.-area band Wes Tucker & The Skillets released their new studio album, Afterlens, with a show at IOTA Club and Café in Arlington, Va. The Reserves and Drew Gibson opened the show. Wes Tucker & The Skillets are a rock band, but they also show singer/songwriter, folk, folk rock, soul, alt- country and Americana influences.
Afterlens is the band’s fourth full-length record and offers their most fully realized songs to date, thanks, in part, to the expert production of Grammy Award-winning engineer Matt Shane (Flight of the Conchords, Robbers on High Street, Rosanne Cash).
“I’m proud of this record. I feel like this is our strongest material yet—our best arrangements, a fuller sound, lyrically and vocally, just really solid songs,” said Tucker, who has been recognized in the past by the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest for his thoughtful, socially conscious lyrics.
That type of songwriting continues on Afterlens, which features stories about soldiers led off to die in the desert and our divisive political climate, alongside stories about letting go of the past and redemption, two additional themes Tucker has long been drawn toward.
“Afterlens is a made up word that speaks to the way things look entirely different once they have passed compared to how they look while we are going through them. That became a theme with the songs I was writing for this record. How much we can grow through experience if we learn from it, and how destructive it can be if we don’t.”
The Skillets’ last studio album, The Scorpion and the Dove, earned nominations for Best Roots Rock Group and Best Roots Rock Recording at the 2009 Washington Area Music Association Wammie Awards.
The Washington Post described the Skillets’ live performance as a showcase of “solid songwriting and tight instrumentation in musical styles ranging from funk to groove-based R&B to soulful jam-based ballads.” That and more were on display at IOTA at the CD release on November 17.