A Wilhelm Scream – [EP]

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Is it finally time for A Wilhelm Scream to get their proper due? Having plowed their own course in relative obscurity since the release of The Way To A Girl's Heart Is Through Her Boyfriend's Stomach at the turn of the century, the New Bedford, Massachusetts-based band drew a surprising amount of notice for 2007's Career Suicide so word did get out, but nowhere near the amount that songs like “Die While We're Young,” “Get Mad, You Son Of A Bitch!,” “Pardon Me, Thanks A Lot” and “We Built This City! (on Debts and Booze)” deserved. Still, A Wilhelm Scream did make a bit of ground and, listening to their self-titled EP, now it's looking like they could capitalize on it – particularly given that most of the other 'melodic harcore' bands on the circuit are either not the most 'melodic' outfits or are significantly less than 'hardcore.'

A Wilhelm Scream embraces the extended play format with both arms on their self-titled EP as they distill their sound down to the absolute essentials to make the greatest possible impact. From The very beginning of “Australias,” guitarists Trevor Reilly and Mike Supina orchestrate a set of slash and burn tactics as they blaze through lines that are qual measures hardcore and shred but, unlike so many other bands that have tried to take the same tack, it's done here without a hint of irony or comic resolve; the band sets a single-minded, urgent tone that never lets up, never slows down and never bogarts a riff with extraneous heroics. It's needs-first, but it's also done cleanly and aggressively every step of the way.

From there, the unrelenting assault just doesn't  stop. Songs including “Every Great Story Needs A Shower Scene” and “Bulletproof Tiger” illustrate that A Wilhelm Scream's energy reserves need no replenishing between songs . There are no tossed-off of throwaway moments in this runtime because, even when the guitars begin to run too fast or threaten to dissolve into static oblivion, singer Nuno Periera is there to compensate with a gut-wrenching or riot inciting line like “I guess you didn't get the note on the nightstand about setting the house on fire (from “Bulletproof Tiger”) that seem guaranteed to get kids screaming along from the pit when they hear them live.

As the EP spins to a close and the bass line from “Skid Rock” swirls into a wall of guitars, A Wilhelm Scream finally rests, having made its point. In just five tracks, the band has condensed its sound down to a set of moments that are unmistakable, unmissable and unforgettable. If the band can expand the ideas presented on these songs and sustain this kind of energy for a full-length album, they'll have a genuine shot at breaking through. If that happens, people will be able to say honestly that they watched when the A Wilhelm Scream EP came out and the going got great for the band. We'll see….



A Wilhelm Scream – “Australias” – A Wilhelm Scream EP


The A Wilhelm Scream self-titled EP is out now. Buy it on Amazon .

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