Wheeland Brothers – Muchos Mahalos
1.) Lovin’ On Time
2.) Like You Do
4.) Beans & Rice
5.) No Real Reason
6.) Run River Run
7.) This Time of Night
8.) We Could Sail
9.) Settle For the Sunrise
10.) Slack Key Jam
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: July 23rd, 2013
Website: Wheeland Brother’s Website
The Wheeland Brothers are a four-piece band from Orange County, CA. With a Beach Rock Reggae sound, acoustic melodies, and some hip hop thrown in, these guys are your musical SoCal surfer beach bums. The group consists of brothers Travis & Nate Wheeland, who both trade vocals & share guitar a long with Marcus Agundez on Bass & Brandon Lark on drums/percussions. They released their debut album back in May of 2012 with Toast To The Coast and has since been seen playing up and down the Cali coast. Now with the celebration of their sophomore album Muchos Mahalos, the Wheeland Brothers are excited to share new music with those who enjoy the beach, reggae & carne asada burritos!
What makes the Wheeland Brothers great is that they represent their roots. They’re just a couple of surfer bums making beach reggae music, and they make it well. Muchos Maholos puts you on your own private beach, and plays like theme music to a beach bonfire, however I’d only replay about 5 of those tracks after the party was over.
“Lovin’ On Time” is the first song off the album, and boasts an upbeat driving-around-town reggae song with a little hip-hop tossed in. This song sets the bar for the rest of the album, with its catchy hook and happy-go-lucky theme, however, most of the next nine songs don’t really catch up.
Fortunately one of the highlights on this album kicks in on “Beans and Rice” and “No Real Reason”. “Beans and Rice” gives me a feel of what these guys can do vocally, and I enjoy their ability to switch between Frogg and Travis. On the song “No Real Reason,” I can hear the guys trying to emulate a little Sublime, circa 1996, with their own influence on the track as well, showing me something versatile outside their comfort zone.
The next three songs kind of role on by without much thought, besides the ukulele/acoustic session for the 0:45 second song “We Could Sail”. “Run River Run” and “This Time of Night” fit well on a bonfire/beach day sound track, but that’s about it. Both songs just sound repetitive, and something we’ve all heard before.
“Settle for the Sunrise” sticks out, and is my favorite on the album. This song makes me think of Jack Johnson on vacation. Once again, when they just stray outside their usual stuff they make some great music.
Where track nine gets a thumbs up, track ten gets a thumbs down. “Slack Key Jam” is slow acoustic song that bores me after the first verse. I like the bands use of the acoustic guitar and ukulele together, but after doing “We Could Sail” two songs before, both of these are just unnecessary.
Wishing they would have finished the album at nine tracks or even made an EP of five, Muchos Mahalos shows me what the Wheeland Brothers are capable of. They are surfer bums, yet at times they can make some really beautiful music. The few tracks that I liked on this album, I loved, and will keep them on heavy rotation even through the winter, giving me a ray of what the summer has to offer. Unfortunately there were a few tracks that could play for a night or two, but after that I am skipping to my favorites. Either way I am excited to see more in the future from these guys.
Written & Reviewed By: Andrew McClatchy
[Editor’s Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]