It probably seems obvious. When there's a desire to start a group, the first people to ask are a sibling or cousin. They know you, you know them - so it shouldn't be hard to get along. Wakefield has brothers Ryan and Aaron, along with their cousin, Mike.
The Wakefield story begins with guitarist Ryan and drummer turned guitarist/singer, JD. Ryan's dad was in a Journey/Chicago covers band. Imagine growing up and having to listen to Peter Cetera or Steve Perry endlessly. Talk about a brutal upbringing! Ryan was a showbiz kid having performed in local talent competitions since he started school. On the other hand, JD got his first drum set in 7th grade. The classmates formed a covers band beating the hell out of Rage Against The Machine and Deftones songs. But feeling trapped behind the drum kit, JD vaulted to the front, taking up guitar
A few towns away from Ryan and JD's Mechanicsville (who names these places?), Maryland home Mike was a guitarist plodding along with his own group. The call went out and Mike was enlisted, moving to bass.
The last piece of the puzzle was a drummer. Aaron, who'd found success with Good Charlotte, decided to leave that group and sign up with Wakefield.
The group took its name from a street that Ryan and Aaron lived on while growing up. Writing songs and producing demos led to the "The Lost Warthog Tapes '02," which appeared on the indie Gear Fab label.
The next step was a NY showcase for Arista Records who signed the group. With producer Matt Wallace, Wakefield released "American Made" in '03.
Even without Aaron's connections, Wakefield is treading all over Good Charlotte's turf (not that GC got there first or even second). Wakefield is a little Punk, a little pop and a lot of guitar drive. Opening track "Sold Out" drips with sarcasm while riding frantic energy. The vocals ride over a single note as if crossing a suspension bridge. "Un-Sweet Sixteen" and first single "Say You Will" are solid Rockers with catchy melodies. What really separates Wakefield from the pack is the group's vocals - both the lead and harmonies. This gives the songs a bit more texture and authority.
Wakefield, like many groups, struggles with ballads, like "Heaven's Coming" but overall this album is on track. Earlier release, "The Lost Warthog Tapes '02," is less accomplished but shows the group well on its way.