Written by Mike Yoder, posted by blog admin
Acoustic guitars twinkle, riffs crackle and steady low grooves swing into action as singer Rhett Repko’s voice trembles with a higher-register bravado, conjuring up pop songwriting as if schooled by guitar rock on “Were You Ever Really Mine?” All in a day’s work for this Maryland-based singer/songwriter during the aforementioned tune, one from his debut 6-song EP where any song could be chosen as a radio single; that’s the strength of Rhett Repko, he can push melodies to the forefront even when grittier musicianship is nudging the music forward.
No two tracks sound alike on his latest EP and there’s a smattering of influences from 60s rock/pop to country to blues to 90’s fuzzy guitar and everything and anything in between. He knows what he likes and the kind of music that help shape and forge rock n’ roll to what it is now. It’s not an interest that most pop songwriters care about, so it’s good to see someone come along that places emphasis on heart n’ soul. From the opener, Repko touches down in Dixieland with the saloon swilling swagger and Dylan-esque folk of “She Loves Me.” Scorching guitar flurries emerge from the acoustic ash as the rhythm section yields proper push/pull dynamics to keep things lively. Meanwhile Repko croons his heart out and shows that he wears his soul on his sleeve when singing. “About Last Night” sheds the rock n’ roll fervor of the prior 2 tracks for sweeping acoustics, soaring chorus vocals and a soundtrack grandeur (breathtaking string arrangements are a plus), making for the type of song that could anchor a Hollywood film score.
Changing the game again, “Inside of Me” is a bit-sized chunk of poppy guitar rock with punk’s simplicity informing a textured, harmony-rich affair. “On the Run” returns to the southern-kissed atmosphere of “She Loves Me,” blending folk, country and rock influences into one stellar piece of songwriting benefitting from the stellar lead vocals of Repko and his backing band’s subtle support harmonies. Rounding this EP out, “Bye Bye Baby” is a soft, gentle acoustic number with emotionally-charged vocals giving way to major pop hooks that you won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
Rhett Repko’s EP About Last Night is a track for track winner that hints at a bright future for the musician. Not only does he sing and play on all of his tracks, he writes them from the ground up as well. It will be exciting to see where he takes this sound on a full-length outing but for now this EP is a great introduction to an artist that everybody should keep an eye on.