If you want melody and performance, energy and excellent song-writing, then the debut single from Big Wheels will bring you some much-needed joy. There’s a welcome touch of nostalgia in the tuneful rock of Big Wheels, the new band for song-writer and guitarist Lawson Doyle, who has previously found critical success with Port Royal and Sunflower. In the new band, he shares vocal duties with rhythm guitarist and songwriter Cass Ford. All their influences come together in an upbeat, infectiously melodic sound that manages to be both fresh and retro at the same time. There’s a little of everything in their music: rock and roll, country-rock, folk and blues and it’s easy to be swept along on the rhythmic tide, provided by Jordan Buchan on bass and Dale Coombes on drums. Between them, the band members have shared stages with a host of well-regarded bands, including The Dead Kennedys and JET. Here, on their debut single ‘Chain of Fire’, they perform with confidence.
The cleverly sequenced video for ‘Chain of Fire’, directed by Mikey Conlon and starring Jess Taylor and Jack Reid, intersperses footage of the band performing on a windswept coast with a narrative of a couple, which becomes really striking when they appear alongside the band, dancing along before Reid disappears. It’s an effective accompaniment to a dynamic song.
Lawson says of the song: “‘Chain of Fire’ excites me; not only as an artist, but as a listener. It brings a sense of nostalgia to my ears, and oozes 70’s soft-rock flair with just that hint of country twang. I feel like it’s a track the Eagles would appreciate you know? It’s fiery (pardon the pun) nature fills you up with life whilst embracing total emotional vulnerability. Lyrically, it takes me on a journey of pain and triumph, something I think we can all relate to in one way or another. ‘Whether it’s poison I’ll be drinking it down’ – a line we wrote to emphasise that acceptance of things that are bad for you, but you keep going back for more. I hope Chain of Fire brings solace to just even one person listening – that would be enough for me.”
Cass continues: “‘Chain of Fire’ began with the idea for the track title sitting on a bottle of wine in the cupboard and some old lyrics scribbled in a notebook. For the times we were in, with so much uncertainty and an overload of information, it felt like taking a step back from the anarchy and switching off was needed but there was no escaping it and everywhere I looked we all seemed to be drawn to the fear like a moth to a flame. For me it was about that feeling of knowing something is bad for you but still going back to it time and time again. The track takes you on a journey of inner turmoil and feeling stuck in the same place towards finding a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ through acceptance.”
Look out for festival performances and more new music from Big Wheels soon. In the meantime, check out ‘Chain of Fire’.