Music Reviews

Wretch Like Me

I am Become Death

Owned And Operated

Wretch Like Me open their latest release, I am Become Death, somewhat misleadingly. The first track, “Eccentric Hundredaire,” begins for a few seconds with strummed guitars before the raging guitars come crashing through and the pulsing rhythm section begins to pummel the listener’s head. On this track, and throughout the album itself, Wretch Like Me operates on all cylinders and ravages the listeners with their full on attack. The best tracks coalesce when the hooks and melody are clear and the band rages together tightly. “Fat of the Van,” is fine evidence of this, with the scorched earth vocals of Abe Brennan.

The band stretches out a bit beyond the typical hardcore/punk fare on “Would Be Elegy,” allowing the melody and Brennan’s vocals to soar. Approaching the sonic dynamics of a band like Sunny Day Real Estate, Wretch Like Me allow themselves to create a track with an epic feel. Stylistically then, this band pushes themselves a little further than most of the punk bands flailing away on stage. A nod here towards power pop (“Safecracker,” “The Greatest Love that Never Was”) or full tilt radio-friendly pop-punk (“Always Sideways”).

Altogether, a solid disc from a band that has the talent and penchant for pushing themselves a bit further than the standard hardcore band. Some of the tracks lag here and there (“Mr. Head Say Hello to Mr. Wall”) and the band appears to run out of steam towards the end of the disc. For example, “I am the Goat,” a track that quotes various Biblical passages, is a nuisance, but at under a minute and a half, not nearly long enough to warrant any attention. If you’re a fan of their labelmates, ALL, you most likely will enjoy this release.

Owned And Operated Records: http://www.oandorecords.com


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