The Bush Years

Written by: PP on 17/07/2011 02:19:39

Philadelphia, US-based Welter have chosen unfortunate artwork for their debut album "The Bush Years", because at least in my books, an angry bulldog sketch with posters on the background implies a hardcore release, or at the very least a street punk one. Instead, these boys play garage-ish alternative rock full of references to the origins of the pop punk scene. Here we're talking really, really old school pop punk like the Green Day debut "39/Smooth" from 1990 and stuff like that, before the genre had fully developed. Therefore, expect also to hear some influence from The Replacements, whom the band has often been compared to as well.

The guitars have a fuzzy, warm feeling to them, and they are played kind of sloppily and loosely, but that's part of the charm given the genres and bands Welter references throughout the release. A couple of the songs are quite catchy, with "Favorite", "In Your Own" and "Son Of Captain Obvious" taking down the album highlight nominations, mostly because of the way the remind you of the old school Green Day tracks before a) Billy Joe Armstrong learned to sing properly, b) before they wrote "Dookie". They have no chance of making it in today's musical climate at large, of course, but the nostalgia alone makes them worth listening for a few times at least.

The other part about Welter is their garage rock side, which is quite similar to the approach taken by The Thermals, except less raw and more alternative rock/pop punk thrown in for good measure. I'm not sure which side I like better, but both have their advantages and disadvantages. In the latter category, the somewhat amateurish playing, which i guess is very punk in a way, can be a little annoying sometimes. But if Welter clean up their production a little and focus on writing catchy, up-beat songs like "In Your Own", their next release could be a whole lot better.

Download: Favorite, In Your Own
For the fans of: old Green Day, The Replacements, The Thermals
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 31.03.2011

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