Western Addiction


Written by: PP on 06/05/2018 19:28:53

Here's another overseen release from 2017 that deserves notice for its unique twist on hardcore. The band is Western Addiction, which features Dead To Me's Ken Yamazaki on guitar but also employees of Fat Wreck Chords, and it was formed in the early 2000s as a knee-jerk response to the emo/pop punk scene that was at the time overtaking Warped Tour. They released a critically acclaimed debut album "Cognicide" twelve years ago and have dropped a couple of EPs and 7-inch records since then, but "Tremulous" is their first real studio album since then.

While not stylistically similar to Deez Nuts and/or Turnstile, they are a good starting point for describing what Western Addiction is trying to achieve here. Both bands have a similarly playful approach to hardcore that finds itself in the opposite end of the spectrum from the likes of Terror and Hatebreed, instead turning the genre upside down and showing that it's possible to have fun in the old school way without having to sound so brutal and macho in the process. For Deez Nuts, it means utilizing hip-hop as a part of their repertoire, whereas Turnstile goes for the indie-flavored, shoegaze twist. As for Western Addiction? They go for a surprisingly bouncy and groovy influx of melodies that feels like it's part Paint It Black, part Descendents, part PEARS, and part Black Flag or Minor Threat. It's certainly a unique mix of influences and that's also why there's such a buzz about Western Addiction right now with those in the know.

It's an outrageous take on hardcore that you recognize to be something unique from the first notes of "Clatter And Hiss" to the rock'n'roll fueled "Ditch Riders" or the groovy "Taedium". Fueled by plenty of attitude and tight grooves, the Western Addiction expression is equally catchy as it is true to the genre's origins. It's straight up punk/hardcore with no additional bullshit, yet the band takes considerable liberties in playing around with rhythms, grooves and aggression levels throughout. It's a carefully constructed balance that originates from the extensive experience the group has in both genres, where the whole record feels like it just naturally came out of their creative drive. It says a lot when you have songs that you could get away with describing as The Rolling Stones playing hardcore ("Righteous Lightning").

And that's ultimately what makes "Tremulous" such a great listen. It toys around hardcore with such ease and effortlessness that it feels tongue-in-cheek and lighthearted, even if the band is fully serious about writing a hardcore record. Short, excellent bursts of punk/hardcore energy in the old school way.


Download: Clatter And Hiss, Taedium, Righteous Lightning
For the fans of: Descendents, Paint It Black, PEARS, Deez Nuts, Black Flag, Turnstile
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.03.2017
Fat Wreck Chords

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXII Rockfreaks.net.