WSTR – ‘SKRWD’

By Chris Marshman

WSTR (or ‘Waster’ for those who like their vowels) are the Liverpudlian pop-punk five-piece making an entrance to the scene with their debut E.P. ‘SKRWD.’ Growing up with the influence of bands such as Sum 41, Blink 182 and New Found Glory, WSTR make a solid debut into the new-wave of pop-punk. Produced and recorded by Seb Barlow at Celestial Recordings (Neck Deep, ROAM, Homebound), fans of Neck Deep and The Story So Far should find a lot to like here, yet WSTR’s instant comparability to these bands is undeniably their biggest weakness.

‘South Drive’ makes for a strong opener – fast, tight drum-work drives behind tasty guitar licks and strong vocals. Lyrically there’s nothing new going on here, as vocalist Sammy Clifford drops into the chorus with, “Cut the cord, shut you out, spit your taste out of my mouth” you’d be forgiven for mistaking him for Ben Barlow of Neck Deep – no really, they sound almost identical. While that may be a good thing for some, it will certainly cause a fair few to glaze over.

While a lot of ‘SKRWD’ is quite a rinse and repeat formula, there are a few other stand-out tracks. ‘Graveyard Shift’ (which has a pretty hilarious accompanying video) blasts through with ROAM-esque hooks that are quite difficult not to jam along to. The lyrical relatability of ‘Fair Weather’ also pins it up there as one of the best; we can all agree we have friends that are dicks, but no, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s pretty clear why No Sleep picked these guys up so quickly, they’re green as grass yet making tracks that are as tight as some bands with a hell of a lot more experience. It’s somewhat of a disappointment then, that they don’t do enough to create something that separates itself from what is already on offer. It’s safe to say that ‘SKRWD’ will be the divider of opinion and the starter of YouTube comment wars. The guys will certainly make a mark with this E.P, and they’ve showcased a tonne of potential. WSTR, you did good… but you’ll need to do quite a bit more to find your own sound and separate yourself out from the crowd.

WILL ATKINSON

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