What We Had – Wednesday Week (1987)

What We Had album cover
What We Had album cover

In the wake of R.E.M.’s popularity in the ’80s, it seemed that everyone was wanting a piece of the jangly guitar sound that the Georgia band made popular. Many West Coast bands had their own version of the R.E.M. sound. That sound was based on late ’60s surf music without all the country and folk undertones that seemed to come from their Southern counterparts.

For L.A. based Wednesday Week, their tribute to the sounds of the day would have the added authenticity of being guided by one of the men responsible for REM’s rise, Don Dixon.

Wednesday Week was named after a punk rock song from The Undertones. That West Coast punk mentality could be seen and heard in their somewhat radical girl guitar duo of sisters Kristi and Kelly Callan. Wednesday weeks radical streak was tempered by Dixon’s Southern style production. While the new California punk/surf sound was becoming the real alternative, the more radio friendly jangle end was dominating the charts – putting Wednesday Week right in the middle.

Wednesday Week’s first big label album would combine the two style variations of jangle pop and surf to create a better than average debut. Don Dixon’s straight forward production worked well to compliment and contrast the two regional styles.

What We Had produced one hit (or the alternative rock world’s version of a hit) with the song “Missionary”. The album actually featured many solid songs in the tradition of Don Dixon, but after some rotation on MTV “Missionary” would quickly fade away with no follow-up single.

Wednesday Week released their final album of new material in 1990 with No Going Back. The band reformed in 1998 and performs live on occasion. Its unknown if there will be any new material. Perhaps a reunion with Don Dixon is overdue.


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