WALL – Untitled Review

wall untitled

An awesome punk rock album from a band that's one and done.
Wharf Cat Records, 2017
Purchase: Amazon

7.9 / 10

It’s almost pointless to even let yourself enjoy WALL’s debut full-length LP. Appropriately, it’s name is Untitled; appropriate because the band is one and done. They likely didn’t put any input into the album’s title since they’re no longer together. And really, it’s a shame because the punk rock four-piece of Sam York (vocals), Elizabeth Skadden (bass, backing vocals), Vanessa Gomez (drums), and Vince McClelland (guitar) deliver many thrills on this debut. It’s a potent mix of Priests, Shopping, and Savages with some of the coolest songs this year. However, their songs are also somewhat strange, but that’s part of the charm. Their breakup is so disappointing that you may want to punch a WALL.

But just be careful that the WALL doesn’t punch back. Sam York is a fiery frontwoman with lots of attitude. Don’t you dare make any passes at her while she’s at a bar with her friends. Especially if you’re just going to tell her that her lipstick makes her look pretty. She’s not an object. You don’t just get to stare impolitely and suggest something to her that she’s not into. This is what happens on “Turn Around”, and it doesn’t work out so well for the guy that does it. RIP barroom catcaller.

Still, that doesn’t mean York is incapable of jealous toward other women when they’re encroaching on her lover. On “(Sacred) Circus” she sings, “I want her/ I want her/ I want her/ Gone!” This angry statement comes after asking her lover feels about this woman’s features: her long blonde hair, lashes, and legs. Her vocals dragging out the features before letting her tongue take off running. It’s a volatile two-and-a-half minutes that leaves you obliterated.

Perhaps more damaging is “Save Me”. Its back-and-forth opening vocals play like an internal battle within the mind, “You wanna walk away? (I wanna walk away).” This leads into a fast-ripping melody while York reveals that she seems to be trying to distance herself from people with addictions to danger. Maybe it’s a reflection of her inner turmoil? Untitled also features a dynamite cover of Half Japanese’s song, “Charmed Life”. Pill’s Ben Jaffe guests on the track to provide some saxophone. It crows like a rooster just as the sun breaks. Running under two minutes, you want more of it. But really, you could say that for all these songs and the band itself. Unfortunately, this WALL is no longer standing, but man, it sure was sturdy.

About NK

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