Wraths – Self Titled

  • Cole Faulkner posted
  • Reviews


Self Titled - Bird Attack Records

All Jim Lindberg projects inevitably end up being compared with Lindberg’s punk rock pillar, Pennywise.  But his latest side project, Wraths, looks for inspiration from decades pre-dating the melodic-punk movement of the 90’s typically associated with the rise of Pennywise.  In fact, Wraths simply doesn’t lend itself for much of a comparison.  The project is largely based on jarring, disjointed, and abrasive time signatures that jump to and fro with little regard for the melody typically associated with Lindberg.  He even trades his smooth vocals for a vicious bark with teeth as sharp as daggers.  Better comparisons reside with the 80’s punk movement, and the boisterous calls to arms that comes with referencing Black Flag and Dag Nasty.  The result might be unsettling for Lindberg’s fans, but certainly achieves a sense of sonic upheaval reflective of the lyrical content.

Right from the start, opener “Oh God” lurches jarringly to life.  Perhaps intended to jolt the audience out of any sort of passive listenership, Lindberg rattles off a grim descriptor of life as we know it.  Accompanied by dark, guitar-driven angst and bursts of thumping bass, the band makes no apologies for their brazen ways.  “You’re a loser, we’re all losers… I’m in the back of the line and I’m doin’ fine,” asserts Lindberg of our societal positioning in the rat race of which we are all a part of (“Back Of The Line”).  Abstaining from participation in this destructive cycle marks Wraths’ defiance, but as “War Drums” further suggests, such actions are equally as isolating as per the ominous chorus line, “lost and alone in the unknown.”  Taken together, the tracks both compliment and contrast with one another in their abrupt nature and lightening quick runtimes (most clock in around a minute and thirty seconds).  While most Pennywise tracks harmonize into sweeping album arcs, Wraths embrace and thrive on a wholly disjointed delivery.

At under 25 minutes, Wraths offer a succinct introduction to a forceful but familiar style.  Make no mistake about it, Wraths is not for the faint of heart, and is certainly geared towards fans of abrasive punk that embraces frayed edges.  Within the context of Lindberg’s career, Wraths earns its keep by starkly defining itself against his legacy work in Pennywise.  Whereas other Lindberg projects like Black Pacific were short lived likely due to melodic similarity, Wraths is its own beast with a wild roar entirely its own.  Here’s to hoping we hear more from Wraths down the line.