Bird Attack Records
Wraths are, and I’m pretty sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t know here, a Californian quartet that combines members of 1208, The Darlings and most famously Jim Lindberg of Pennywise, whilst the latter of these is the best known member this is by no means a vehicle for Jim Lindberg, the combined talents of the members makes Wraths at least the equal of the individual member’s bands, if not the greater. The My Home EP follows on from their self titled debut album that was released last year, and given a second pressing this year, via Bird Attack Records, and the four tracks contained on this EP indicate that Wraths are very much a going concern.
The EP’s title track is a brutal attack on gentrification, something that is close to my heart, and I would imagine pretty much everyone reading this, as this is a global issue affecting pretty every major city as the character and culture is stripped away in the name of coffee shops, chain stores and unaffordable high rise properties. The punk venom continues with Trusted You which is another barbed attack that has it’s sights set firmly on the abuse of trust that exits in organised religion. and The Beat Goes On continues the assault on universal problems, this time confronting the issue of bullying. This Is My Farewell marks the end to the all too brief My Home EP, and keeps the energy levels off the scale on what for me has easily been Wraths finest release to date.
It feels weird to say this after having witnessed a jaw dropping set by Pennywise at this years Rebellion Festival, but after hearing the My Home EP I’m conflicted as to which outfit I’d rather Jim Lindberg focused his energies on, I’m just hoping that he can manage to keep both going. There’s obviously more than enough on this EP to keep any Pennywise fan happy, but this is not in anyway a side project that repeats the sound of any of the members other outfits. Wraths are very much a separate entity and with the My Home EP they have released their hardest hitting recordings to date.
The My Home EP can be ordered via Bird Attack Records here
Wraths are made up of skate punk veteran Jim Lindberg, of Pennywise, and his band of cohorts, including members of 1208 and The Darlings, they channel the ghosts of punk’s past, combining the dark guitar driven tones of TSOL and Dag Nasty, and the glaring sun bleached angst of the Descendents and Circle Jerks. Wraths debut album was released last April and the first vinyl pressing of their debut album sold out fast, so Bird Attack Records have released a second pressing, on alpine white vinyl. There are only 200 of these in the Bird Attack Records store so if you want a copy you’ll have to be quick
Wraths debut album can be streamed and purchased here
Turn Of The Screw
I’m a huge fan of the Epitaph Records family, many of their bands are some of my favorites that I listen to constantly. Lately they have been branching out, trying new bands and styles; emo like Matchbook Romance, electro-hardcore-punk like Error, rap/hip-hop like Atmosphere and so on. Sure, some of them have been quite pleasing and are fun to listen to, but at times you miss the old school vibe thatEpitaph is known for. 1208 is here to bring that vibe back.
Starting off the album you hear a piano playing, pulling you into the song and getting you captivated; a slight surprise but very enjoyable nonetheless. Not to worry, the band soon launches into their CD openerMy Loss and brings you back to what you want to hear. Melodic, catchy, punk rock played at a medium to fast paced tempo. Dropping the guitar, Alex Flynn, nephew of Black Flag cofounder Gregg Ginn, focuses solely on vocal duties on this album; making the instrumentals not quite as layered, but still doing the job nicely. Mr. Flynn’s vocals are perfect for each song. Somewhat similar to Guttermouth‘s Mark Adkins, they are medium-paced, somewhat hoarse and quite catchy. The background vocals by guitarist Nashawn Hubbard and bassist Bryan Parks make the songs complete, coming at the exact right moments and adding a little extra punch to the songs.
Countless punk rock, sing along anthems can be found on this disc. Their single, Next Big Thing, is a classic example of that. Alex’s lyrics about the music industry’s sinister sign ’em then drop ’em ways grab your attention and with Bryan and Neshawn’s “hey!”s in the background, you can’t help but sing along with them. They do know how to slow it down a bit though. The second last track, The Saint, shows us just that. A much more melodic song that is slow and smooth; and also quite powerful.