The members of The Wrecking, a Portland, Maine-based pop/rock band, have quietly re-defined what a purposeful, hard-working team can accomplish on their own. On their second full-length release, 2012's So Much For Love, the band found their sweet spot; crafting songs that celebrate the purpose of struggle, the beauty of brokenness, and the importance of justice. “Struggle has a purpose,” insisted drummer Darren Elder. “We often have to be broken before we can be built.” The Wrecking contemplate the power of this simple truth through pop/rock songs honed to perfection by relentless touring, writing, and studio work.
Whether intentional or not, this young band has already demolished several contemporary rock clichés. In an era of declining music sales and indie rock cacophony, they have emerged as polished, purposeful, touring band that waits for no one. Their 2008 debut, A New Abolition, and follow-up EP, The Catalyst (2010), managed critical and commercial feats that would be the envy of any major label artist development team, including five charting singles, over fifty features and reviews in national press outlets, and numerous four star reviews.
The band has shown no regard for the supposed wall between faith-formed music and mainstream pop, generating fans on all sides of the spiritual fence. “We are absolutely unashamed of our Christian faith and we love playing at churches, leading worship, and inspiring people to dig deeper into their spirituality,” singer/guitarist Douglas Elder said, “but we are just as comfortable playing in a club or on a TV show. Maybe it’s because we have done this on our own, but it is really exciting to see that we now organically exist in both the mainstream and Christian markets.”
With musical references as diverse as Radiohead, Jimmy Eat World, The Daylights, and OneRepublic, the band has crafted a brand of instantly accessible, irresistibly melodic, and relentlessly truthful modern pop that dares to matter. The persistently relevant spirituality and artistically inventive legacy of U2 serves as a touchstone for The Wrecking.
In addition to dialing in their own brand of uplifting, challenging music that is 100% authentic to their own lives and creative urges, they have devoted themselves to the growing abolitionist movement that strives to release people from the bondage of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. “It’s appalling that there are more slaves in captivity right now -- something in the order of thirty million worldwide -- than at any point in history,” Douglas insisted. This urge to bring people freedom has led them to engage fully in the work of the International Justice Mission, Love 146, Childvoice International, and Not For Sale, a new anti-slavery organization that The Wrecking has represented on the road.
“The team at Not For Sale are our heroes,” Douglas said. “They are the very definition of smart activists. They are at the forefront of attacking modern-day slavery on every level and are creating lasting change by successful striking this evil at its root.” The band’s passion for the work of Not For Sale and other social justice organizations has tangibly influenced their live shows, their off-stage conversations with fans, their personal free time, and more noticeably than ever, their songwriting. “This may very well be the defining issue of our generation,” Douglas added. “With whatever platform we have, we must be a voice for the voiceless. Our faith demands that we do what we can to speak truth to power.”
The Elders and the other band members, Karl Anderson (keyboards/bass/vocals) and Chris James (guitar), realize that while their spiritual and social justice passions are strong, none of it matters if their music doesn’t speak loudly. The band spent hundreds of hours writing, re-writing, tweaking, and perfecting a massive amount of music that was eventually distilled down to the fourteen that comprise So Much For Love. “We probably sketched over seventy songs before landing on the ones that became this album,” Darren Elder explained. “When we were not on the road we were in my studio dreaming this all up.” With the production assistance of Dustin Burnett (Newsboys, Augustana, Throwing Gravity, Jimmy Needham) and mastering by Adam Ayan (Nirvana, Madonna, Foo Fighters, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones) their enormous effort truly paid off.