Review Summary: It's better than good, it's shredtastic!
Looking back on the beginning of 2009, it seemed that only moments after the hipsters had their moment behind the wheel of the hype machine when Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion
hit shelves, the punk kids got their turn to drive it with a rare Propagandhi sighting. So it seems fitting that closing out the year that brought us Supporting Caste
is another high profile, highly technical melodic-hardcore release, this time brought to us by A Wilhelm Scream. The last time anyone had heard from the Massachusetts punk-shredders, it was on 2007's Career Suicide
, which was easily the band's most cohesive and technical album to date. One listen to A Wilhelm Scream
and it's clear that they haven't lost a beat.
A Wilhelm Scream's self-titled EP hits the ground running with "Australias". Slightly more melodic but just as guitar driven as ever, "Australias" sums up everything that is A Wilhelm Scream; the frenetic fretboard wizardry, driving drums, and powerful rasp of vocalist Nuno Pereira all are given their chance to shine (which they all do wondrously). Even though A Wilhelm Scream
starts off on a lighter note, tracks like "Bulletproof Tiger" and "Skid Rock" open up a can of whoop-a
ss that travels through your speakers and punches you square in the face. "Skid Rock" opens with a clinic in bass taping a la "The Horse" before catapulting into an assault of stunning riffs and acrobatic solos that are sure to get that inner air-guitarist peaking his head out. That's not to say that A Wilhelm Scream don't know when to tone it down. On "Fun Time" they slow things down a bit and channel their inner Hot Water Music. They even include a resounding belt of "woah ooohs" in their take on the punk-rock drinking song. The result is a record that ebbs and flows instead of being a constant aural onslaught.
A Wilhelm Scream
is just more proof that A Wilhelm Scream can do no wrong. Just like Propagandhi's Supporting Caste
, it is a testament that punk bands can play more than just the same old chords over and over again. They can fu