Direct Hit!
Wasted Mind


4.1
excellent

Review

by Atari STAFF
June 25th, 2016 | 97 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you're over the age of 40, I'm not sure you should listen to this record.

Lyrically speaking, Wasted Mind is the equivalent of the cult-favorite book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In case you missed Hunter S. Thompson’s influential story or its movie adaptation, it revolved around a road trip to sin city in which two individuals completely lost themselves in an excessive binge of drug-use: cocaine, ether, hallucinogens -- you name it. It wasn’t so much about Vegas as it was the madness brought on by drugs, and the limits of the mind to endure such abuse. Milwaukee’s Direct Hit! have returned with their follow up to Brainless God, and – much like the famous novel – they’ve brought enough mind-altering substances to fill a suitcase to the brim.

If Brainless God was the band’s satirical take on a religious Armageddon told via sugary pop hooks, Wasted Mind is their humorous, often vicious stab at our youth’s drug culture. With rich hyperbole, every song is vibrant and overstuffed with more sarcastic drug references than you could readily count on one hand. Songs like ‘Infinite Pills, Infinite Alcohol’ and ‘Was it the Acid?' exhibit humorous lyrics and contagious hooks as the band paint a very blurry line between reality and drug-induced insanity: a line where it’s hard to tell what’s real, and what’s a side effect of the drugs.

Apart from the album’s manic, drug-obsessed foundation, it’s the band’s ability to flawlessly recreate the sound of early 2000’s pop-punk that gives them an edge over their peers. If you grew up on the likes of Blink-182 or New Found Glory, this album is sure to be a nostalgic treat. There’s not a lot here that hasn’t been done before, but the execution more than makes up for it. Besides, chances are you won’t be wading through hallucinatory visuals of alligator faces or an ocean of pills with your pastime favorites anytime soon. Direct Hit! are a special band because they take a familiar sound from yesteryear, but combine it with a level of intensity and wit that’s rarely found in a pop-punk record – all without ever taking themselves too seriously. Yet, they’re no strangers to innovation either. Their second concept album in a row is just as ballsy and imaginative as their last one, but it also contains an extra coating of variety. On Brainless God all the songs sort of just bled together into a cohesive whole, but on Wasted Mind each tune feels like a rowdy, standalone tale of inebriation. ‘Forced to Sleep’ could very well be an anthem for our society’s hazy-eyed youth, with crunchy guitars and terrible advice colliding in a way only Direct Hit! could achieve: add up all the amphetamines and pour them in your mouth, take a sip of Diphenhydramine when your heart starts going south.

At times, Wasted Mind feels a bit pop-heavy given the crazed subject matter, but that’s where heavier cuts like ‘Paid in Brains’ and ‘Do the Sick’ come into play. The former is a grim, yet amusing glimpse of the price one pays for an excessive intake of drugs. With a seamless blend of pop-punk and an edgier hardcore approach, the track gives the third full-length effort by Direct Hit! an extra jolt of energy. The real punch to the gut, however, hits during the boisterous closing track. ‘Do the Sick’ pretty well sums up the darkly satirical themes of intoxication throughout Wasted Mind, and it hits with the velocity of the previous ten tracks rolled into one angry anthem. There’s no question it’s the heaviest song on the album – and probably their entire career – as Nick Woods belts out line after line with an aggressive and relentless demeanor. On the other hand, the less heavy tracks spare no amount of energy, with huge sing-a-long choruses (‘Villain Alcoholic', ‘Hospital of Heroes’) and screamed backing vocals that make tales of drug-use more fun than they probably should be.

To say Direct Hit! carry the themes of drug experimentation on Wasted Mind to the level of excess would be an understatement, but that’s precisely the point. Whether it’s the opening of ‘Forced to Sleep’ which makes swallowing down amphetamines sound as harmless as candy, or the depiction of partygoers foaming at the mouth after ingesting questionable pills in ‘Paid in Brains’, the album is as whacky and adventurous as the often referenced Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas. In regards to Wasted Mind, vocalist Nick Woods stated I hadn’t really experimented with drugs until some time in the last couple years. Having approached that horizon later than most who ever do, it’s easy for me to see how so many people have realized such amazing ideas with the use of mind-altering chemicals and plants. But it’s also easy to see why a lot of those people descend into madness and ruin. This sentiment translates throughout the album, as the band’s depictions of substance abuse range from playful to cautionary, and sometimes both. It’s clear Direct Hit! are an ambitious bunch, and their second concept album in a row does not disappoint. From start to finish, the album is an absolute blast of energy, and everything fans of Brainless God could have ever hoped for. That’s three for three.



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user ratings (89)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Staff Reviewer
June 25th 2016


26240 Comments


first PUP and now this. album is such a good time

http://uproxx.com/music/direct-hit-wasted-mind-premiere-stream-interview/

Digging: The Hold Steady - Open Door Policy

LotusFlower
June 25th 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"If you're over the age of 40, I'm not sure you should listen to this record."



poor zak.

deathschool
June 25th 2016


27314 Comments


I'm 6

kris.
June 25th 2016


15504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ive listened to this at least 10 times all the way through today so i dig it i guess

SteveP
June 25th 2016


99 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review as always Atari. One grammar catch, Infinite Pills, Infinite Alcohol is one song but you did something funky with the apostrophe there.



Still absorbing this record but on first few listens, it fucking rips just as hard as I was exepecting. Brainless God is one of my favorite records ever, honestly, and this is probably gonna end up being just as good. The hooks are so freaking melodic (perhaps even more than on Brainless), the production slick but not distracting (who knew the dude from All American Rejects would make great punk records?), and the record seems so seamlessly crafted. Band is amazing.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
June 25th 2016


26240 Comments


Cheers man, and nice catch. I think only time will tell if this is better then brainless God, but I'm confident that it's at least on par with it. Definitely an album I can listen to from front to back without skipping any tracks, and it really does have a nostalgic sound to it kinda similar to NFG I'd say


kris.
June 25th 2016


15504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

everyone sleepin on this like they did brainless god smfh

Tyler.
June 25th 2016


18321 Comments


Brainless God was ok maybe I'll check this

tom79
June 25th 2016


3780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Looking forward to this one, band rules.

oisincoleman64
June 26th 2016


2484 Comments


Only 3 ratings? C'mon guys this rules

doomjitsu
June 26th 2016


1240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i've listened to this like 3 times and i can 4.5 it right now, but i'll wait

BlackLlama
June 26th 2016


2178 Comments


Thankfully I'm still under 40; this reminds me of early Blink (musically) with much more subversive lyrics.

spookynewghostfriend
June 27th 2016


730 Comments


legends say that zak is as old as the stars themselves

Feather
June 27th 2016


6521 Comments


Sounds good, I'm gunna check these guys out now

LotusFlower
June 27th 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Loving this from the first track, fun pop punk with a little stab of self aware satire or something. I wish there was some more harsher elements like on Brainless God but I can still bump this.

LotusFlower
June 27th 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

guys listen to this album

LotusFlower
June 27th 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Another Dimension, Paid in brains, and Villain Alcohol are standing out as the winners of this record.

Anthracks
June 27th 2016


6673 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

On par with Pup? That album is the best pop punk in a while.

Digging: of Montreal - I Feel Safe With You, Trash

LotusFlower
June 27th 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Id say so, yeah. I like these guys more than PUP personally. Id give Brainless God a spin first, however, this record is more "pop punky" as its playing into satire (but is still well made and hella fun, mind you) while Brainless God has more hardcore and punk elements that make it stand out.

Conmaniac
June 27th 2016


26259 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

wow would i like this?



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