A Wilhelm Scream


Written by: PP on 04/12/2013 00:04:12

Six years later the kings of technical punk rock A Wilhelm Scream finally return with a highly anticipated new album "Partycrasher" and do not disappoint. The odds were certainly against them: six years of more or less total inactivity after releasing "Career Suicide", arguably the greatest technical punk album released in the last decade if not in the entire history of the genre. How could any band possibly come out of hiatus and slay that?

The answer is you can't, which is why A Wilhelm Scream haven't even tried on "Partycrasher". Instead, they choose to uphold the core elements of their sound--the technical brilliance approaching ingenuity, and the infectious choruses delivered from a hardcore stance--while also adjusting their approach somewhat. Where "Career Suicide" was an angry album sound wise, "Partycrasher" is the opposite. Albeit being lyrically miserable in terms of content at times ("You can find me at the bottom of a lake / With a dollar in my pocket and a bullet in the brain. / With the face that said This Means War" on "The Last Laugh"), it feels more melodic in its comparison. Don't get me wrong, this is still a high-octane album that could also be classified as a melodic hardcore one (of the punk kind), but plenty of lead melodies, chorus melodies, and the guitars in general have a brighter tuning, resulting in more of an upbeat feel as opposed to the subtly dark and brooding style in the past. This is a vital distinction, because it allows A Wilhelm Scream to essentially continue directly from what "Career Suicide" left behind ensuring their expansion as a band within the punk rock scene, while also giving returning fans something new to chew on and to process.

That said, "Gut Sick Companion", for example, is a throwback to the "Mute Print" and "Ruiner" days of mid 2000s with its tight instrumentation, thick bass line (that is ridiculously complex in itself even without the guitar flair on top), and screamed lyrics, and "Hairy Scarecrow" showcases the band at their most aggressive near the middle of the song with Pereira breaking into a full-blown scream from his naturally coarse and energetic style. Speaking of which, "Partycrasher" is one of those albums where you can taste the sweat and tears from the band members because the expression feels just that energetic even in a studio environment. Trying to keep on pace with for example the ludicrously fast "Ice Man Left A Trail" is impossible, not to even mention that it simultaneously features some of the most jaw-droppingly amazing fretwork delivered at a speed you wouldn't believe from start to finish. That's the theme of the whole album though, not to mention their previous albums, so lightning speed fingerwork is to be expected.

It does, however, require extra care and skill to combine blinding technicality with catchy instrumentation, great melodies, and unforgettable choruses without having one element overshadow the next. Instead, "Partycrasher", just like its predecessors, offers a finely tuned balance of everything, and offers more merit for the argument that A Wilhelm Scream are one of the greatest punk bands of our generation.

Download: Boat Builders, The Last Laugh, Gut Sick Companion, Ice Man Left A Trail, Born A Wise Man
For the fans of: After The Fall, No Trigger, The Flatliners, This Is A Standoff, Belvedere, Strung Out
Listen: Facebook

Release date 05.11.2013
No Idea Records

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