In Bed

Written by: PP on 27/07/2017 06:37:28

Copenhagen punk rockers Wayl recently shortened their name from What Are You Like to its abbreviation in anticipation of releasing their debut album "In Bed". Featuring ex-members of The National Shut Up and others, they have become somewhat of a household name in Danish punk rock shows, supporting a number of international staples within the genre over the years. During that time, one song, in particular, has become the anthem of the Copenhagen punk rock scene despite not having an official release until now: "Stand Your Ground" often draws fists in the air and chant-alongs at basement style shows across the city. More on that later.

Stylistically, Wayl continue to channel their primary influences into a tribute to their favorite genre. Elements of NOFX, Pennywise and Blink 182 mesh together into a raw, unpolished expression that's wrapped in a DIY self-production which, unfortunately, leaves the drums slightly flat versus the guitars. Because it's not the songs that "In Bed" fails on: whether it's the rowdy, but playful lead guitar of "Hate" or the infectiously catchy gang-shout, chant-along friendly "Resolution", these are exactly the kind of songs you want to be circle pitting to in an intimate, sweaty basement show. "Governmental" is another great example: carrying a melodic buzz comparable to the bigger names in the genre, its high-energy approach coupled with gang shouts and tight skate punk rhythms is European skate punk near its best.

Yet it's "Stand Your Ground" that I keep coming back to both on this record and in a live environment. With it's tightly-knit, small-town punk rock community lyrics are like made for the Copenhagen scene: "United we stand, together we fall, woo-oooh". It's instantly catchy on first listen. That said, the politically-charged criticism of European Union on album opener "Dear Union" is also good, as is the Pennywise-esque "Waiting" with its crunchy and unconventionally heavy skate punk guitars and gang shouts, and the NOFX clone "Vaseline".

So underneath the surface, the Wayl record is pretty good. Excellent even. Plenty of gang shouts, woo-hoo melodies, snarled NOFX style verses, tight skate punk guitars, and raw punk rock attitude where glitches and off-tune singing are part of the charm. It's just too bad that the production leaves the record feeling somewhat unfinished or at least not favourably comparable to, say, most Fat Wreck releases from the golden 90s that it references. That's just about the only thing Wayl need to improve before they will appeal to the majority of the European punk rock community and beyond.

Download: Stand Your Ground, Governmental, Resolution, Dear Union
For the fans of: NOFX, Pennywise
Listen: Facebook

Release date 25.11.2016

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