Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Wanderers-Take a Hard Ride CD review

I caught these guys a few months ago in Midlothian and thoroughly enjoyed their set. A couple of weeks ago, my wife was at a show and got this CD for free, so she gave it to me. It's been out for a few months, but whatever.

The first two songs on this record are totally boring/generic. Now that that's out of the way, the rest of the album is actually pretty good. On a whole, the record is poppy rock with a punk edge that woudn't have been out of place on the Epitaph roster in the mid-90s. The main thing that sets these guys apart is the singer, who can fucking sing and shows it off. I could totally see this dude fronting some Misfits rip-off band and being one of the only guys who could actually pull it off. The guitar-work is good, and the guitar riffs on some of the faster material reminds me of the Japanese pop-punk band Nicotine.

Outside of the first two songs, my only complaint on this record is the producton, specifically the drums. When I saw them live, I remember being impressed by their drummer, who is one of those guys who blends into the background most of the time, but busts it out when it's needed and really grabs your attention. The drums are pushed back and sound so small on this record that when he goes all out, it's ineffective, which doesn't do him justice. I also don't like the super-compressed guitar sound, but that's more of a personal preference (I guess!). All in all, it's an enjoyable release with interesting arrangements (if a little tedious at times), and a surprisingly good pop record from a band that should be a lot more successful than they ever will be.

Apparantly this band's biggest influence is Thin Lizzy.

Download "The Legend of Barnacle Bill" (the fastest, shorest song on the record, so your hardcore attention span won't lose interest!)

The Wanderers on MySpace
Buy It On Interpunk

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