As frontman and chief songwriter/lyricist for 80s/90s seminal Pittsburgh rock band, Little Wretches, Robert Wagner rode a wave of local notoriety that led the band to the forefront of the underground music scene. The Little Wretches were founded as a folk/punk band by Robert (guitar) and his brother, Chuckie (violin). The “classic” Mach 2 era of Little Wretches included Ed Heidel (bass), Chris Bruckhoff (percussion, wind instruments, backing vocals) and Bob Goetz (guitar), rounded out by Dave Mitchell (drums), Mike Michalski (bass) and Ellen Hildebrand (electric guitar.) This rock edition of the band performed regularly and helped the band build its massive following in Pittsburgh. Michalski, Mitchell and Chuckie Wagner left the band, effectively ending Mach 2.
The Little Wretches have quite the unique story, and “All Of My Friends” is a treasure to match. I could feel a lot of influences coming on, from Billy Bragg to Jim Carroll and the stories of his friends, even with a hint of Michael Monroe (yes, that’s even possible too). The song, however, does not come across as punk as the aforementioned artists (except for Monroe) but rather it has a great melodic layer which makes it so easy to listen to, while at the same time being exceptionally deep. In a world where everybody seems to want to create the next reggae-ton hit, this is refreshing, unique, and something everyone should be listening to.