Following on from 2015’s SKRWD EP the Liverpudlian outfit WSTR (named after the short hand for the bands favourite crisps; Worcestershire Sauce) are going at a full on charge with their debut album Red, Green Or Inbetween. A collection of shameless pop-punk songs filled with suburban musings on life, love and the universe.
Comparable to the early Tony Hawk games’ soundtracks RGOI (the short hand for the bands’ first album, and not a type of Pasta) is filled with the essence of true emo. A genre that is brave yet sounds like the commercial teen movie commission that only really happened to Wheatus. RGOI is a album that tells it like it is or at least avoids mundanity with resplendent vigor and beautiful prose.
With added down to earth self-deprecation the inverted punk snobbery is strong with this one. Although to be honest I’ve never got the juxtaposition of pop and punk as it’s a completely non-binary issue. Punk is a term to define one who prescribes an anarchic worldview (like an insult to conformity or a deviancy from the norm) while pop culture is a manufactured item for mass consumption. Punk sells but who’s buying?
Disregarding the politics of pop culture the album itself is fantastic: great hooks, catchy choruses and most importantly dynamic sonal constructs. Presented with a fresh attitude that promotes reasoning and self-actualization. These tunes although dark are a sugar coated and unhindered by their lyrical objective. Although a histrionic mess WSTR show conviction to their madness as their riffs are honest to the overall mood they approach lyrically.
WSTR (also an acronym for West Side Talk Radio ) is perhaps more authentic than their chosen influences of Blink 182, Sum 41 and New Found Glory Hole. It’d be unfair to say they’re Thursdays’ Freaky Friday as their controversial approach to self-betterment is entirely engaging and solid songwriting. It’s probably just me but this album inspires some serious talk.