Under Review

Under Review: Your Band is Wack?, WACK

Jack Ducharme

Looking at Wack’s Bandcamp page, they claim to make dance rock and garage rock music. These are adequate labels, describing the band’s sound as dance-worthy rock tunes with a DIY edge. But there is more to this album than just that. On Your Band is Wack?, the band blends several eras of rock music in a cohesive fashion.

The first half of this record can get pretty heavy. The thumping bass lines and gritty guitars make for some great breakdowns on tracks like “Galactic Funkeyes.” The sound (and especially the title) of this track evokes classic rock fundamentals from a time when Paul McCartney was bringing heavy tracks like “Helter Skelter” to the mainstream. The band also changes things up with structure, using pacing and slower sections to build tension before exploding into a cacophony of hard rock sounds, or a key change like on the track “Sometimes.” “Seven” is a noteworthy track from this section of the album, especially because of the song’s chilling outro: “That fuckin first night / When we just met / You broke me baby / I won’t forget.”

The second half of the record makes for a noticeable shift in tone. For instance, the singer embraces autotune a lot more on tracks like “Caught Spottin (dnaL)” and “Say What You Want.” The tracks are less evocative of classic rock and show an evolution in the band’s sound. The frantic guitar riffs, as well as the near stream-of-conscious lyrics, on “Caught Spottin” are reminiscent of an early Talking Heads song. There is more variety when it comes to the use of guitars on this record. Chords are drenched in effects pedals that create a distinctly upbeat atmosphere. The use of the Dorian mode provides these latter tracks with a distinct style compared to the first half of the album.

What also makes this album refreshing are the lyrics that showcase vulnerability. The singer pretty much has an existential crisis after smoking too much weed on “Say What You Want.” “All of My Friends” details a situation where an ex-partner cheats on the frontperson with one of their friends. “Sometimes” starts with the declaration that the singer sometimes hates their own voice. The band deserves a lot of credit for expressing such vulnerable moments and providing them with a catchy soundtrack.

With Your Band is Wack?, the band introduces themselves with a catchy set of dance-worthy rock songs, enhanced by vulnerable songwriting, captured succinctly by the album’s title.