Wretch Like Me

OWNED & OPERATED RECORDINGS More often than not, mixing elements of various subgenres tends to result in shit stew: rap-metal and ska-punk support this idea so well you'd figure it's one of Newton's Laws by now.
So an album that can be described as heavy-punk-pop-prog-rock seems like it should be one giant digitally encoded sucking sound. But somehow, Fort Collins-based indie rock vets Wretch Like Me have bent the immutable laws of the universe: off-kilter semi-instrumentals back up against blazing speed punk, driving power pop melts into prog, and vocalist/songwriter Abe Brennan belts out literate lamentations of loves that never were without once venturing anywhere near emo, and it doesn't suck. They've got the inherent heaviness and swing of middle period Black Flag one minute and the melodic punk of the Adolescents the next with songs such as "Another Reason to Hate Easter," the most atypical and heartfelt musical tribute to Joey Ramone yet, and "Avatar," a pedal-to-the-metal punk song that stops on a dime and turns into a Sabbath-style pummeling. Sure, such a hack-and-slash musical aesthetic is almost guaranteed to lack cohesion, but the Frankenstein's monster that is I Am Become Death doesn't let the scars or stitches show.

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