Liverpool pop punks WSTR are set to release their debut album this month (20th January) titled Red, Green or Inbetween via No Sleep Records. Having been a fan of the quartet for a while now, it was an honour to receive the album to review. This will be WSTR’s follow up to their debut EP SKRWD and lead singer Sammy Clifford and the lads once again excelled themselves with this release. It starts off with the already known Featherweight and what a way to start a debut album off. Almost straight away you can hear Sammy’s epic vocals kicking off a party of pop punk heaven with Kieren Alder and Danny Swift pitching in with their kick ass guitar riffs. The tempo of this song reminds me of early Neck Deep however it is clear that they have their own style to their music. Next up is Footprints which has an incredibly catchy beat to it almost straight away. The drum beat is complemented by Alder’s and Swifts epic guitar playing. Sammy’s vocals are once again on top form as they are throughout this faultless album. The third song on the album is unique due to it’s length. This is something seen by Blink-182’s California and it just breaks the album up really with running over just 30 seconds. Titled Gobshite, it has a really epic and fast beat to it and gets to the point directly. At the end, the lyrics ‘Out daddies said not to be ashamed of our dicks’ really points out the humour as well which all pop punk bands should of have because it’s about having fun. And that is exactly what the next song does, Lonely Smiles. In the music video seen below, the band gives something back to their fans and allows them each to be in their music video. The song itself was just a teaser to what expect of this album, and what a teaser it was. Alex Tobijanski on bass really added to this song also which created a really authentic song for WSTR and their style of music really came into their own.
2016 was an amazing year for WSTR having gone on tour with Neck Deep and played at such festivals as 2000 Trees and now the lads are ready to show what they’re really made off. This is certainly shown in their next track Nail in the Casket (Thanks For Nothing) and despite it has a very catchy and happy sound to it, the lyrics ‘bury me and nail the casket’ obviously highlights the pain lead singer Sammy Clifford feels. The song has a lot of potential to be a hit if the lads decide to release it as a single. Next up is personally my favourite and the song is titled Eastbound & Down. The chorus of the song is just perfect and really just sticks in my head. Lyrics such as ‘I got a little bit of money with a pocket full of hesitation’ and ‘I’m pathetic’ really hits home to what WSTR is trying to say in this track and it just makes you really feel for them. The track fades out at the end perfectly which is a sign of an awesome song and I have to say this is not only my favourite song from the album but right up there overall. King’s Cup is next up which is another solid edition to the album. Sammy sings lyrics such as ‘Lady luck is no friend of mine’ which once again shows the anger of the song but at the same time the instrumentals of Alder, Swift and Tobijanski really contradicts the lyrics in a good way. Next track is The Last Ride really reflects the lyrics with a almost darker sound to the song, which is not surprising seeing the song is mainly about death. After 2 minutes however, the song really becomes beautiful with an acoustic feel that will give you goosebumps. The lyrics ‘I’m bleeding out, and I can’t feel my face. I’l be waiting where you ghost remains. Because now you’re just a past time.’ really hits home but then it superbly kicks straight back in to a pop punk dream.
Hightail is next up witch kicks in straight away with a very punchy start and never really stops having a high tempo to it. However just before 2 two minutes, a really catchy verse starts up and it allows guitarists Alder and Swift to really show what they are made off. The second to last song is cleverly titled Penultimate with WSTR once again showing why they are one of the most promising pop punk bands in the world right now. With dark lyrics such as ‘Nightmares in my head’ and ‘She’s a monster by my window’ clearly shows the band has a lot of passion for what they write but what makes this song so good is how it fades out. Just the way it changes to acoustic late on, it really allows fans to hear what the lyrics are about. Once again I could imagine this song on any alternative radio station such as Kerrang! Radio or BBC Radio One Rock Show. And what WSTR has done perfectly here is that it leads to the last song Punchline which starts out acoustic. However as you can expect this lasts for 20 seconds before the epic drums and guitar riffs kick in. This time the chorus really drills into your head as it is so catchy. The lyrics ‘Maybe I’m a fucking joke, the Punchline to a thousand TV episodes.’ and just carries on to rhyme fantastically. Once again this song screams what pop punk is all about and is a perfect way to end their debut album. So with just over two weeks until the realise, I advise any fan of WSTR or pop punk for that matter to get excited with this release. My prediction these guys will go far, very far. This album ‘Ain’t Great’, it’s fucking amazing!
Rating: 10/10 – These guys have got so much promise and this album simply cements that.
Favourite song: Eastbound & Down
WSTR will join Seaway and The Gospel Youth on a UK tour this month and February!
Tickets can be purchased here.
24th Jan: Southampton, Joiners
25th Jan: Bristol, The Fleece
26th Jan: Leeds, The Key Club
27th Jan: Glasgow, Stereo
29th Jan: Newcastle, O2 Academy2
30th Jan: Manchester, Sound Control
31st Jan: Nottingham, Rock City Basement
1st Feb: Norwich, Epic Studios
2nd Feb: Birmingham, O2 Academy3
3rd Feb: London, Underworld