Disappointment, regret and gallons of wasted sweat — that’s the stuff of New Jersey indie-rock inspirations the Wrens. The Google-friendly title on their website reads, “Keeping folks waiting … since 1989,” and it has read that way for some time. Which is just about right: After 1996′s Secaucus vaulted them to cult fame, the band famously rejected a seven-figure contract. There was a seven-year break before 2003′s The Meadowlands, an intensely defeated tour de force that came at a crossroads between ’90s college-rockers like Archers of Loaf and ’00s alt-pop giants like Death Cab for Cutie (but transcends both). They’ve kept us waiting ever since.
Earlier this week, as Pitchfork points out, the Wrens shared a 56-second clip they said won’t be on their next album, which is now far too late for The Meadowlands‘ 10th anniversary. “Sometimes you work and you work and you still throw it away ’cause it doesn’t fit,” the band writes on SoundCloud. The words are hard to make out, but the snippet suggests Charles Bissell and company have been working on more of the fervent, morose anti-anthems that have made them worth all the patience.
It’s still anyone’s guess when the Wrens may reveal a follow-up to The Meadowlands. Bissell recently wrote on the band’s Facebook that he’d listened to the most current set of recordings back to back with their predecessor “annnnnd…wellllll…can now definitively say, don’t get your hopes up, my best years & work are clearly behind me, which is more sad because I’ve pretty much burned every available moment of the last four years at least doing this.” But a couple of days later, he wrote that a song titled “It’s All Guns & Arrows” was “the finest song ever recorded,” continuing, “I know it’s not, obviously, and it won’t be even tomorrow but that’s where the high points take you as well.”
These boys may be exhausted — it may have been a long time since anyone called them “boys” — but damned if I’m not willing to give them all the time it takes.