A Wilhelm Scream

Lose Your Delusion

Written by: PP on 21/05/2022 11:35:22

Nine long years separated from their 2013's excellent sixth album "Partycrasher", seminal technical punk band A Wilhelm Scream finally return with new full-length album titled "Lose Your Delusion". Throughout their career, they've been considered the very best band in the genre, thanks to their insanely technical guitar leads delivered at breakneck speeds and Nuno Pereira's aggressively-lined, scratchy clean vocals. Together, these elements have worked in unison to create one of the most high-energy, in-your-face expressions that simultaneously manage to be ultra catchy in the process. It's a formula that produced arguably the best album in the history of the genre in 2007's "Career Suicide", as well as other critically acclaimed records like "Ruiner" and "Mute Print" in the past. That's why it's a mystery why the band inexplicably begins altering a winning formula here on "Lose Your Delusion".

It's a much brighter and far less technical album than any of their earlier output, thus removing the two key ingredients that made the band so successful. Nuno Pereira's vitriolic bursts of aggression coupled with his knack of making his throat just clean enough for incredible harmonies to form was key in songs like "Die While You're Young" or "I Wipe My Ass With Showbiz". Here, he frequently opts for slower, melancholic cleans like on "Downtown Start II" or on "...And Big Nasty Was It's Name-O". The latter even features some spoken-word style segments and eerie vibes of Propagandhi, which is cool but lacks the high-energy smack-in-your-face that most songs had in the past save for its ferocious opening moments. It's the uncontrollable levels of aggression and ferocity that attracted me to the band in the first place, coupled with infectious melodies and huge sing-along explosions in songs like "Me Vs Morrissey In The Pretentiousness Contest".

At the same time, the guitars opt for more chord-based riffs. With fewer passages of insane fretwork comes less memorable instrumentals overall, where "I'm Gonna Work It Out" almost feels like the guitars together (and the vocals) are an octave higher than they should be on A Wilhelm Scream record. It's a clear attempt of experimentation within their sound, I'm just not sure it's for the better. There are moments where I'm thinking pop punk and that just sounds weird in an AWS context. But then on songs like "Apocalypse Porn", the band is rightly aggressive but lacks the hooks to permanently imprint it in your memory.

It's not that "Lose Your Delusion" is a bad record. The opening track "Acushnet Avenue At Night" is about as signature-style AWS as it comes. "The Enigma", while more pop-oriented, is a brilliant track that features an awesome chorus as perhaps the best example of the 'new' stylistic direction working as intended. The Title Fight-reverberating guitars on "GIMMETHESHAKES" is another example of the experiment in good light. "Be One To Know One" likewise has an infectious chorus despite being a slower track (in AWS context). These are all examples of solid tracks that underscore the consistency this band has been operating under for their entire career. But when you come in expecting mind-numbing instrumental wizardry with unbelievably catchy hooks and instantly memorable sing-alongs lined with a fiery melodic hardcore base, at least I can't help but feel like "was this it?" after nine years.

Download: The Enigma, Acushnet Avenue At Night, GIMMETHESHAKES, Figure Eights In My Head
For the fans of: After The Fall, No Trigger, MUTE, Darko, This Is A Standoff, Belvedere, Strung Out, Propagandhi
Listen: Facebook

Release date 14.04.2022
Lockjaw Records / Creator-Destructor Records

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