The Pitch: Miami alternative and old school post-hardcore band Wrong (members of TORCHE, ex-Capsule, ex-Kylesa) release their sophomore album Feel Great. "A moody and eclectic record, albeit the moods are pissed and the eclecticism is different levels of pissed." FFO: Helmet, Quicksand, Escape Is Not Freedom
What I Like: I've been praying for the day that we see a return to this grungy, alternative style of hard rock music. I listen to the radio and yearn for a time when groups like Helmet and Alice and Chains were the norm instead of cookie-cutter pop rock. With that in mind, I continue to be excited by bands like Wrong. Clearly influenced by 90's post-hardcore forerunners and the rock music of my early years, Feel Great puts the edge back on this dull blade.
Feel Great has that same magically bleak and indignant aesthetic as classics from The Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. But again, the most obvious comparison here is Helmet. The fellas in Wrong take the same less-is-more guitar approach and ugly, unpolished vocal deliveries as Meantime and Strap It On that helped define an entire generation of music. Hell, "Upgrade" could have been a B-side from "Unsung." The end result is a set of groovy, hard-hitting anthems perfectly designed for ripped jeans, flannel shirts, and plenty of headbanging. For you young'ens out there who don't know what I'm talking about, think Reba's tracks from Code Orange. You won't "feel great," but you will feel great about not feeling great. It's a celebration of riff-driven angst and pounding drums of bitter opposition.
Critiques: Yeah, it's been done...but hardly anyone is doing it now. I say it's the right time for a return to old trends.
The Verdict: Enough 80's nostalgia, Wrong are ringing in 2018 with a case for the 90's. With seriously infectious drumming, aggressive earworm hooks, and nihilistic vocals, Feel Great is the feel bad anthem we all need right now. Get it tomorrow, and check out our interview with the band below.
Flight's Fav's: Upgrade, Errordome, Zero Cool
FlightOfIcarus: As someone who grew up with the reign of alternative radio and bands like Helmet and Butthole Surfers being the norm, it is so exciting for me to come across bands like yours. What inspired you to bring back this sound?
Wrong: Oh nice, thanks! It’s just what we grew up listening to really. I mean we all grew up while that era was happening, and it’s always what first inspired that you go back to. At least for me. I’ll never get tired of loud guitars and bass and drums, and that’s what the idea is for this band: just the basics. And I suppose that’s what that era of music was at its core. The difference with us is we incorporate some flashier stuff with the simplicity. Or we like to think so, haha. Between the four of us in this band there is a lot of diversity in terms of background and experience (rock, blues, metal, funk, jazz, classical, etc.). And though we kind of do away with all that when it comes to writing songs for WRONG, we like to weave little nods to our influences into the music every now and then.
Any thoughts on the current state of mainstream radio and how it differs from that of the 90’s?
I guess a lot of mainstream radio when we were growing up was more rock-based? I mean there was still some crap on the radio then, but a lot of it was actual bands. There wasn’t such an over-saturation of rock or heavy music. Or music in general. So when grunge and metal were proving to be money makers, every band on the radio was on there because someone thought they were going to be the next Nirvana or Pantera. And then something else becomes the next thing so that’s what they play. Basically, I guess my point is that mainstream radio is always going to be a corporate realm, whether what they play is good or not. I only really hear the radio in the car anyway and I only really listen to classic rock or oldies, haha.
Even the album title strikes me as straight out of the grunge era. What was the inspiration behind the title and lyrics?
It kind of just worked itself out. After writing the song "Feel Great," the whole theme somewhat presented itself. That’s one of the darker, heavier songs and the title reflected the complete opposite. Most of the lyrics were then written around that idea, however, still at a sort of subconscious level. I never sit down and write about something. The vocals are just another instrument in my head. It’s more percussive with the counter rhythms and different pitches and all that. So really it’s just putting the words to that. Finding the right vowels and syllables that fit. Then afterward you look down at the paper and the words seem to make sense and you go, ‘Oh, ok this song is about that.' And once I had the idea in my head with the contrast of light and dark, everything just came out that way.
You all come from a background of other popular groups. What brought you all together?
We all grew up together. Ryan (guitars) and I have been playing in bands together for like 15 years. Derrick (drums) we’ve known from playing in other bands around Boston/ New Hampshire area and then he ended up being the drummer for our last band, Capsule. Our bass player, Alex, is most recent addition to our... musical family, if you put it those terms. It’s like one of those things where you play with people for so long that you already know what the others going to do before they do it. You also know each others strengths and weakness and so on, so it just works. When you’ve played music as long as we have you just know who you want to play with. People who can’t hack it just get weeded out eventually.
Besides obvious influences like Helmet and Quicksand, what other 90’s groups have inspired you to make music over the years?
I’m not really sure what qualifies as a 90’s band, per se. I personally grew up on the basic rock and metal diet. My dad was into KISS and The Who, all the classic jams. Then my step-dad was into the more contemporary stuff like Fudge Tunnel and Bad Brains. So I always had a wide palette when it came to heavy music. We try to have all the elements of the music we like in our songs, from a songwriting perspective. Of course there is a filter that we run all those influences through, and it comes out WRONG....? Either way, it’s always a melting pot of influences with us. We’ve all played different styles of music so really it goes way beyond rock or metal or punk for us.
If you could bring back any band from that era, who would it be and why?
I don’t know if there is anyone I would want to bring back that isn’t still around or came back already, haha. I’ve always loved Faith No More, but they came back and did a new record. Soundgarden was back until Chris Cornell passed. Primus is still around and touring with Mastodon. The Melvins never went away. I think any of the bands that were worth their salt are still around. Any bands that didn’t make it out if the 90’s should probably stay there.
Any current touring plans?
Nothing solid yet actually. I’m going to be working on the new Torche record the next couple months so I have to be in town. We have plans in the works for the fall and early next year, including finally getting to Europe! We all keep pretty busy, really. We all play in other bands or participate in other musical areas. Our drummer currently lives in England, haha. So as you can imagine when we do get together it needs to be concrete. We’re pretty excited to get out there and play the new record so thongs are going to happen soon.
What are your hopes for the future of Wrong’s sound?
We definitely want to evolve and get heavier and... scarier maybe? Haha. That’s the fun part for me. Just the creative process in general, trying new ideas and really exploring where we can go. There really are no boundaries for us. We know we want to push it every time we do something new. It’s always going to be heavy that’s for sure. But most importantly it’s going to be honest. You never know where you are going to be in the future, so for us we like to be as real with ourselves as possible now so we can look back one day and feel like we really did something we are proud of.
Shout out an underground metal group you feel deserves more attention and why our readers should check them out.
We have so many good bands in Miami lately. Our friends Prison Warder are like meth’d out Jesus Lizard. Our bass player, Alex, plays guitar in this great band called Wastelands. We have a show in Miami in June - probably our first show after the record is out - with a bunch of great bands, namely: Shroud Eater, Holly Hunt, and Crud. These are just the ones that come to my mind right now.
Anything else you want the readers to know?
The cover of our album is actually a stripped marijuana plant. Just a fun fact.
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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