WSTR – ‘Identity Crisis’ (Album Review)
On last year’s Red, Green Or Inbetween, WSTR officially emerged as punchy pop-punk masters. It was, to say the least, a solid effort driven by great bass and effective songcraft. For Identity Crisis, WSTR have taken the next logical step for any self-respecting pop-punk outfit, cranking the dial marked “Maturity” and adopting an appropriately spikier sound.
This album is another example of pop-punk done right. Alex Tobijanski’s low-end contributions stand out on the funky Fling and the tightrope-taut Ashtray, but for the most part WSTR have grown into a unified unit and filled the sonic space they occupy with impressive confidence. First song Tell Me More contains some sick harmony vocals and metallic guitar tones; second single Crisis is a cool nonconformist anthem; and The Latest sees vocalist Sammy Clifford declare therapy wasted on him. Each is a fine cut – but taken as a whole, Identity Crisis doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from the deeply ingrained, decades-old pop-punk formula.
Listening to this album on repeat, most of its contents wear out quickly. They’re not bad by any means, but songs in this style have been done so many times before that Identity Crisis winds up dropping into generic cliché territory more often than not. Taking a step in the right direction is great, but WSTR need to take more than a few more before they’ll achieve a unique contribution to really call their own.
LTK RATING: 7/10
Pre-order Identity Crisis (out August 31) on iTunes.
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