There is a simple, timeless pleasure in the bouncy root-fourth riff that opens the new Half Stack album. The pair of major chords crackle and glow — like a tube-driven amplifier or the cherry of a cigarette — as they amble through the two-and-a-half minutes of “Pit Boss,” the lead track on the Oakland indie-rock outfit’s latest record, Wings of Love.
“Pit Boss” gives way to the album’s title track, “Wings of Love,” which the band is debuting on SF Weekly. Take a listen below.
“The song is about uncertainty,” band leader Pete Kegler explains of the track, which features jangly sweet open chords and spare country-rock flourishes reminiscent of Ron Wood’s handiwork for The Rolling Stones. “It’s about wanting to play music and grappling with the reality of what that means. But it is also about finding community and hope in the people that you love.”
The album, written mostly while Kegler was living on an old 200-acre ranch north of Half Moon Bay, braids a love of country and 1960s rock together with the group’s indie sensibility.
“We wanted to draw on the straight forward chord progressions and rhythm you find on a lot of Lucinda Williams’ songs and on Neil Young’s distorted guitar tone,” Kegler says. “Wings of Love is also an homage to the late David Berman, who did all of this a lot better than we ever could.”