Chuck Whyard, who goes by the stage name C Wired, performs the six songs on the EP Angel Circuit Engaged like a man that loves the feeling of singing rock & roll. He’s clearly enjoying himself. It’s a project that leans strongly toward classic rock sounds. There’s lots of guitar, aggressive drumming and organ fills for coloring. It’s music most any lover of 60s rock might dig.
As a vocalist, Whyard sings with an Ian (The Cult) Astbury vocal inflection. Mind you, he’s much too polite sounding to ever be mistaken for that goth-turned-metal-icon, but if there’s one singer Whyard most sounds like in places, it’s Astbury. Just as Whyard the singer is far more manners-minding than Astbury, so also is his backing band. This isn’t balls-to-the-wall hard rock. Rather, it’s skilled, tight and well played rock & roll.
In addition to his love of classic rock, Whyard also sounds to be a history buff. Many of his lyrics include historical and philosophical references. He’d seemingly rather educate his audience, than impress them with Robert Plant-like robust sexuality. He is, after all, a grandpa of four and clearly beyond the ‘meeting chicks through music’ phase of his musical career. For example, “Botticelli Baby” is about a girl; but not a modern type of girl. This girl he’s singing about is more akin to a Sophia Loren-like Botticelli model. Botticelli was an Early Renaissance painter. Painter’s models than, to put it a little bluntly, had a little more meat on their bones back then. They weren’t the sickly thin super models we too often see today. It’s likely, though, the girl he’s singing about has never ever heard of Botticelli. That’s probably fine with Whyard, who seemingly hopes to use his rock & roll songs to help educate listeners. Lord knows, most of today’s music is far from PBS-ready.
Angel Circuit Engaged is C Wired’s second recorded project, following on the heels of Omega from earlier this year. With his stylish hat and coat, Whyard doesn’t even look like a rock & roller. He looks closer to a businessman. It’s a little like a Clark Kent/Superman act, since he transforms himself into a hard charging rocker whenever he’s making music. You won’t, however, catch him shimmying across a stage wearing tight leather trousers. That would not present the man to his grandchildren in the best possible light, after all.
Whyard exists in a kind of twilight musical category. Most folks his age have quieted down their music considerably. Except for, perhaps, Iggy Pop, who remains miraculously eternally young, classic rock & rollers tend to age more gracefully. Few like Whyard are still this charged up at this advanced age. He has the enthusiasm and energy of a man half his age. Will seekers of new music seek out an artist old enough to be their father? Will hormone-fueled youth be as fascinated with art and history, just like Whyard? It’s tough to know for sure. What we do know, though, is Angel Circuit Engaged is a quality collection of songs; songs that come from a most unexpected age group source. Those that like a little brain with their brawn, though, will find much to enjoy about this project.
Dan Macintosh posted by Anne Hollister