Career Suicide my ass. A Wilhelm Scream will still be sitting atop a throne of insanely fast riffs, in-your-face lyrics and basslines that actually matter. If you recently found yourself listening to Ruiner and thinking, “There’s no way they can do better than this,” well, shows how much you know. Slap yourself for lack of faith. I’ll wait… But seriously (I do serious?), Career Suicide finds A Wilhelm Scream trying their capable hands at some longer, but still pretty punk tracks. Calm down, everything works just fine. In fact, the album flows so well that I challenge you to only play it in bits and pieces. I challenge you to listen to opener, “I Wipe My Ass With Showbiz,” and not get excited all over again about one of the most solid bands making music today.
We all heard the story of AWS discarding songs that didn’t rock fast enough. Somehow this made me nervous and exhilarated. I feared the album would be incredibly short (it clocks in just over 35 minutes), or all the tracks would blend into an angry ball of noise. But at the same time, I was expecting to have my clothes and eardrums shredded away, left only with a feeling of extreme passion. When I happened upon track three, “The Horse,” I realized my fears were completely unfounded and my hopes realized. This is easily one of the best songs the band has ever written. Nuno Periera mixes clean vocals with scruffy yells, which, along with the highly technical and melodic riff, will have you (understandably) hitting repeat multiple times. But I implore you to move forward. “Die While We’re Young” begins with rumbling drums and a mimicking bassline, everything is controlled. Then all the elements hit fast-forward and Periera blasts through with, “It’s been a year since I sold my soul!” This song is a perfect opportunity to praise guitarists Trevor Reilly and Chris Levesque (who recently left the band). As they trade off between solos and Speedy Gonzalez-like riffs, it’s hard to not drool in awe.
If “Die While We’re Young” is where the guitarists shine, “Jaws 3, People 0” is bass guitarist Brian Robinson’s moment in the sun. His underlying rhythms are complicated and enthusiastic. His solo towards the middle of the track is one of Career Suicide’s many highlights; it’s a lesson in complexity and speed. “Get Mad, You Son Of A Bitch” is another longer song. Lyrics like, “I took a piss in every ocean / So fuck the world,” make it one of the angrier tracks on Career Suicide. I don’t know about you, but that’s just how I like A Wilhelm Scream. Harsh. Unruly. Dynamic. The vocal melodies, coupled with a rising bassline and chugging guitars, result in a gratifying sonic experience.
Tracks like “5 To 9” and closer, “We Built This City! (On Debts And Booze),” require tremendous amounts of stamina. Punk keeps you young, I guess. One thing, if nothing else, is clear: A Wilhelm Scream are the tightest they have ever been. Each melody is rewarding, each riff astonishing, each song structure flawless. There is not one bad track throughout Career Suicide. And I’d go as far as saying the discarded songs were probably awesome, too. To those who think they can’t stomach punk: listen up. First, duh, that’s what this Website is all about. And second, Career Suicide is basically instant ball dropification. (Finally!)