Album Review: The Bollweevils – ‘Essential’


Back in 1989 in Chicago, the band The Bollweevils formed and consists of Dr. Daryl Wilson supplying the vocals and Pete Mittler on the bass, although Pete, aka Sensitive Pete, joined later. Ken Fitzner on the guitar, and Pete Mumford on the drums. Last year we saw Cigar return after 23-year absences, and that delivered, but this isn’t to compare. Instead, shed light on the fact that sometimes it takes decades for bands to craft something that brings punk back to… Well, punk. So, it’s about time The Bollweevils came back.

It has been 14 years since they released something, but even that album they released called History of the Bollweevils wasn’t anything but a compilation album. So, if you look at their discography, their proper last full-length release was Heavyweight, and not to make anyone feel like their age is catching up to them, that means it was 28 years ago. But that doesn’t matter because now they’re back, and clearly, they’ve crafted this album to its full potential.

Essential is the name of their newest release, and the album title comes from the fact that they are all now essential workers: first responders, teachers, and, yes, vocalist Daryl Wilson is an ER doctor. But let’s move on. The album is made up of ten tracks that don’t slow down.

Starting the album, listeners are thrown into “Predisposition,” the second single from the album. It’s heavy on the guitars and roars into Wilson’s vocals singing, “Misery loves company, or that’s what you think,” and rapid drumming. From beginning to end, the song has you moving and is a great opener to give you an idea of what you’re about to head into.”Galt’s Glutchstands out on the album due to the lyrics, but the intro to the song with the harmonizing of the bass sets the song’s tone right before the guitar enters and supplies some more brutal riffs. Again, the drums make an appearance to keep the song’s rhythm going throughout the song.

‘Theme” takes the title for the catchy song. Supporting Wilson in his vocals, the rest of the band swoops in to supply some of the catchiest parts. The guitar’s distorted guitar riffs lift the song to a different level on this song. And once again, the bass doesn’t go unnoticed and does its job. Liniment And Tonic was released in 2021. The album’s first single was a pleasant surprise during an uncertain time. The song closes the album with a catchy hook to the drums that steal the show during the song.

Essential’ punches a pack; no one will stand still when these songs are playing. But the album works. They aren’t shying away from trying different sounds, something noticeable when you hear “Our Glass,” which gives a different nuance to the album but works well. Overall, the album isn’t one to sleep on and is worth giving a few spins.

You can hear the album here.

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