For decades, the essence of punk rock has been community; encouraging the belief that fans are as much a part of the band as the band's music is a part of a fan's life. The style encourages anyone with a beat up guitar to gather a couple of friends and start slamming out loud, simple songs. It used to be that three chords and a pissed off attitude was all a punk band needed in order to drive a basement full of rowdy fans into a frenzy. With their first new album in six years, New Bedford, MA punk band, A Wilhelm Scream, once again obliterate that notion by showcasing a level of musicianship that is unrivaled in all of punk rock. On PARTYCRASHER, the band displays its trademark laser speed tempos and surgical precision but also injects gruff emotion into the speed metal influenced songs through the use of vocal harmonies and insightful lyrics. In this review, all eleven songs of PARTYCRASHER will be analyzed. 1. Boat Builders The first song of PARTYCRASHER begins with a short, Lifetime influenced intro section featuring galloping drums and overdriven octaves. After a few seconds, A Wilhelm Scream blast into the blistering first verse and blow away any suspicions of slowing down with age. Here, high speed, angular chord changes propel the music forward, with singer Nuno Pereira's hoarse vocals being supported by backup vocals from other band members. The band impressively weaves numerous fleeting moments of beauty into the raging rock song through the use of soaring vocal harmonies, giving the song an emotional depth rarely heard in hardcore punk. 2. The Last Laugh Song number two, "The Last Laugh," begins with a heavy, hard hitting verse powered by an impressively engineered, thudding kick drum. The sound production gives the album a raw, live sound, with kick drum and guitar pleasingly filling the listener's ears, but the recording also features the great clarity that only the studio can produce. Every instrument has its own comfortable band of frequencies to sit in, allowing the listener to perceive great detail in the sound of each, such as the creamy pop of the bass. For the bridge section, the band delve into a short instrumental break that marks the return of the harmonized, finger tapping guitar solos found on past records, further punctuating the technical, speed metal influence on the band's music.
I'm Steve Gergley. I love music, movies, animation, Super Nintendo and fonts. I also love writing about those subjects and more. I have a blog where I write album reviews for punk, metal, rock and hardcore bands at https://sgergley.wordpress.com/. Math is power!