Jul 4, 2012

Wammo (1995)


Often criticized for its lack of raw edginess given the band's origins, Wammo has Bailter Space opening up their sound and emphasizing melody more than ever. I think I'm in the minority that thinks that by this stage, they might as well have written 10 pop songs instead of every now and then trying to remind us of their roots such as in We Drive At Five. When they're not wanting to split the listener's head open, they're writing songs like Splat which are incredible. The angularity of the guitars recall Shellac, again reminding of Gordons' immense influence, while the little moments where a sweet melody is cut short and the distortion is left to ring out recall Justin Broadrick's work in Godflesh's underrated Hymns. Mostly though, Wammo is spacier, leading to Failure comparisons. The scope of Failure by way of Shellac and Godflesh? Yeah, in places it's that good! Again, I feel let down whenever the band return to their Sonic Youth, or worse, post-punk/industrial influences, like why'd you do that to Zapped?!, but those moments are fewer than I'm making out. Check D Thing for a Neu!-ish driving rhythm with noise pop over the top, and Splat 'cause that song is SO GOOD. Critics noting the half-pop sound here give it something like a 3/5 'cause there's still the Skeptics/Fugazi/Sonic Youth pretensions underneath it all. I'll do sorta the same, but the opposite, like get that shit out of my Shellac pop!

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