I’m Not the Man That I Thought I’d Be
(Fat Wreck Chords)
I first heard Western Addiction from the song, “When a Good Friend Attacks.” It knocked me for a loop. I grabbed their full length, Cognicide (2005), but thought that was the strongest song. They have never released another full length. However, they have two seven inches and two splits. They are currently on tour with Lagwagon and The Flatliners in Europe.
“I’m Not the Man That I Thought I’d Be” This is a big rock song. Balls out Kiss and AC/DC love, but without the swagger of Rose Tattoo. The production is beautiful in accenting its strengths; which is pounding, coarse drums and a rocking, big riff. So, maybe the approach is a reflection of the theme. Regardless, I like the vocals, male and female, but this sounds like an ETID tune. It reminds me of their Pines 7” opener, “Black Salt”. That song had a rock feel, but remained a punk song at heart; e.g., The Bronx or Cancer Bats. Their Remember to Dismember EP has more of a lean to Paint It Black (which is awesome!). As I replay the first song, it lurks like a slow hardcore song, but is snapped into arena rock mode by its main riff. If this was on an album of twelve tracks, I would appreciate it more as a tempo change. But WA is giving us minimal music over the years. I would appreciate the faster stuff at this rate.
The second track, “Cold Hearted Maceration”, has a cool, low, growling bass line threading the track. Fast riffs and punching snares, balanced with crawling toms, push this song and would definitely get a crowd frenzied. The immediacy is conveyed through gravelly singing and dual vocals. Production, again, helps by giving this a thick, heavy punch. This song is outstanding.
“Clatter and Hiss” – explained as a “demo” – still sounds better than most groups’ album production. But you can hear the slight difference. Regardless, this song follows the typical punk fare. The execution is good. WA release energy that is contagious. Smart lyrics over rough, fast punk always works for me. (Hutch)
RIYL: The Dirty Nil, Good Riddance, Paint It Black, OFF!, Only Crime, Avail