Michigan rockers Widetrack return with their new album entitled The Unawakening. And after one listen, it’s easy to hear these guys take the term progressive to heart. They haven’t grown fat and lazy since their last album. There isn’t any resting on laurels here. This band has moved their sound and energy into exciting new realms.
The opening number, a track called “Martyr”, kicks off this new collection with a galloping thunder reminiscent of the best of classic British hard rockers UFO. But that’s where any comparison ends. Widetrack, the father and son duo of Ron and Zach Tippen, have been busy carving out their own unique brand of alterna-prog rock in the global musical landscape.
The second track, entitled “Unveiled”, with its crisp guitars and righteously tasty bass work, carries the new album forward with thought-provoking lyrics:
Don’t let these poor blinded souls
Thwart your progress
No time for doubt to sway your heart
From those in flux
“Requiem” floats in on a dreamy undertow, its mood and words lamenting a life lost among the cruelties of a cold and deceitful world.
“Tribal” is perhaps my favorite song in this collection. This one is a rocker that weaves intense bass lines with frantic guitar riffs atop a punishing drumbeat. The echo in Ron’s vocals paint the lyrics in a dark and somber mood.
The fifth track, a jam called “The Rift”, sparkles with elements of the best of the nineties sound—but thoroughly modern and fresh. This is a song I’d expect to hear on modern rock radio.
On “Gone Dark”, Tippen sings:
The signs were all there
You sought no conversation
Trolling contact from calm violence
Proclaimed your god’s wrath
The fate of my conviction
From your pulpit of cult follows
“Drones” is a trippy number with an acoustic beginning that builds, thrashing and kicking, into a mountain of sound.
The tenth track on the album, entitled “Voyeurs”, is a straight-forward rocker that really showcases the stellar drumming of Ron Tippen—who also happens to handle lead vocals and much of the guitar work.
I often speak of vibes and moods when sharing my thoughts on this album. That’s because each of the twelve tracks is awash in these elements. Mood and vibe are never easy to connect with if the musicians are not truly feeling their own music. Some bands, resting on reputation and past accomplishments, often half-step their way through studio sessions, just to be able to say they’ve got new product for sale. It is so obvious that Ron and Zach Tippen truly feel the music they’re creating. Each of the songs on The Unawakening are deeply imprinted with the hearts and souls of these musicians. There’s no half-stepping anything with these guys. Widetrack is a professional band on every level. These are talented guys creating incredible music. The Unawakening is an album worthy of your time and attention. Grab a copy and help this band continue to forge their own path across the modern rock scenery.