Take note, kids, Wrong has the 411 on how to properly record an album in 2018. Wrong’s latest, Feel Great (Relapse), is the result of entering the studio with a set vision and ample preparation. You know your shit is tight when you can deliver 11 aggressive and tuneful tracks in about the span of time it takes for Domino’s to deliver its pizza-adjacent product.
To quickly address that naysayers in the audience, yes, Feel Great sounds awfully a lot in common with the New York City noise rock that Helmet and Unsane perfected in the 90’s. As a matter of fact, Feel Great would work brilliantly as the follow-up to Meantime (Interscope). ‘Nice Job’ sounds like its possessed by the ghost of Page Hamilton. And that’s perfectly fine. Guess what, Shadows Fall’s The War Within (Century Media) is really similar to prime Metallica. Killswitch Engage’s Alive or Just Breathing (Roadrunner) was built on a foundation of leftover At the Gates and In Flames riffs and yet we hail those albums as modern classics.
Wrong’s magic is that they do take those jagged riffs, discordant leads, healthy dose of low-end cribbed from peak Amphetamine Reptile bands and construct a satisfying and urgent release. ‘Zero Cool’ and the title track pile on layers of guitar squall and thick grooves all while remaining, dare I say, catchy. Since we’re talking about catchy rock, Nirvana’s influence is strong on the punkish ‘Upgrade’ which is brilliantly anchored by Andres Ascanio’s bass. This economic rock approach can also be observed on ‘Gape’ which has plenty of bite but is streamlined enough to not put-off a Stone Temple Pilots fan.
On the other side of the sonic spectrum, ‘Crawl Instead’ trades melody for a head-on hardcore punk track. ‘Culminate’ somehow crams in 3 songs worth of noise and dissonant ambiance into a sub 3-minute frame.
Feel Great, an album that reminds us paying homage (when handled professionally), doesn’t have to become parody or posturing. It’s the type of album we could use more of in 2018.